Magdalena Racing's Pure Fun came widest of all around the final turn in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Starlet and flew home down the stretch at Hollywood Park to take the 1 1/16-mile contest by one length under jockey Garrett Gomez. The Ken McPeek-trained chestnut lass was last entering the lane but easily proved best to return $14.40, $6 and $10.60 as the 6-1 third choice in the eight-filly field.
Seaneen Girl's upset victory in Saturday's Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs had trainer Bernie Flint thinking about the first Friday in May on Sunday morning.
"They're going to run the (Grade 1 Kentucky) Oaks here (at Churchill Downs) and she loves the place," Flint said. "She's second in (Road to the Kentucky Oaks) points (behind Executiveprivilege) and she's just coming around.
"(Her win) meant a lot to me at this stage of the game. I've always been a filly specialist and it'd be great if I could win the Oaks."
Naveed Chowhan's Seaneen Girl battled it out with Gal About Town in the stretch of Saturday's Grade 2, $167,550 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs before just getting up for a half-length score as the 31-1 longest shot in the nine-filly field.
Emollient tried to snatch victory away from Repole Stable's Unlimited Budget in Saturday's Grade 2, $237,500 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, but the Street Sense filly would not be denied, scoring by 1 1/4 lengths on the wire and improving her mark to a perfect two-for-two.
Kathleen Amaya and Raffaele Centofanti's Rose to Gold held off the determined run of fellow Calder shipper Touch Magic to take Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess by a half-length under jockey Paco Lopez. The Friends Lake juvenile miss was sent off the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.60, $5.60 and $4.60 while finishing the two-turn, fast-track mile in 1:39 1/5.
Saturday’s Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess will feature a nice field of nine two-year-old fillies, led by local star Madame Cactus and Grade 2 runner-up Salamera. The one-mile event offers a hefty payday as well as 10 points toward a possible starting position in next year’s Kentucky Oaks on the new “Road to the Kentucky Oaks” series.
Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's homebred Sign made a couple of rookie mistakes in her stakes debut in Sunday's Grade 2, $168,150 Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, but the 4-5 favorite easily overcame them to win as much the best.
An 11 3/4-length winner first time out at Saratoga, Sign got off to a slow start in the Pocahontas. The Al Stall Jr. pupil lagged in the rear early, then became rank and fought jockey Rosie Napravnik while advancing to midpack on the outside.
Mr. and Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell's two-year-old filly Madame Cactus rallied strongly in the homestretch to score a two-length victory in Friday night's $150,000 My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs. The race was part of an opening night program for the track's 2012-2013 meeting.
Jill Byrne reviews the RTTKO Leaderboard after this weekend's Alcibiades, Frizette and Mazarine prep races.
One day after Spring in the Air captured the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland, stablemate Spring Venture moved her record to a perfect three-for-three with a nice 1 1/2-length win in the Grade 3, $205,361 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday.
Stonestreet Stables' homebred Dreaming of Julia just got the head victory on Saturday in Belmont Park's Grade 1, $380,000 Frizette Stakes after a stretch-long duel with near 3-1 second choice My Happy Face. The pair raced in tandem down the lane, in very close quarters at times, but Dreaming of Julia managed to take the win under jockey John Velazquez to move her record to a perfect three-for-three.
Not only did John Oxley's Spring in the Air pass the test in Friday's Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades at Keeneland, but so did bettors who made her the mild 4-1 favorite in a wide-open field of 14 juvenile fillies. Under Patrick Husbands, the daughter of Spring At Last weaved her way through the field from the second tier, angled out approaching the stretch, and closed with a rush to overtake Magical Moon and go on to win by a length. Spring in the Air returned $10.60, $6 and $3.60.
A field of seven juvenile fillies will line up in the Grade 1, $400,000 Frizette on Belmont's Saturday card. Leading the group is an undefeated Todd Pletcher trainee in Dreaming of Julia.
A capacity field of 14, plus two also-eligibles, were entered for the $400,000 Alcibiades, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test for two-year-old fillies on Friday's opening day at Keeneland.
In a wide-open betting race, the Alcibiades has attracted the top three from the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie -- Gold Edge, La Song and Dancinginthecircle.
Shenandoah Lady (Purim), set to tackle 1 1/16 miles in Saturday's Grade 3, C$200,000 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine, will look to deliver trainer Steve Attard his first graded stakes score.
The dark bay juvenile miss ventures into the Mazarine off a sixth-place finish, albeit just three lengths behind the winner, in the Grade 2 Natalma, contested over a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course on September 15. Ahead by a half-length at the stretch call, Shenandoah Lady, at 80-1, was passed late in the one-mile feature.
The undefeated filly continued to impress Saturday as Executiveprivilege pulled away from the field in the Grade 1, $250,000 Chandelier at Santa Anita. The Kentucky-bred daughter of First Samurai overcame a slight bobble at the start to add another victory to her resume.
Godolphin's unbeaten Certify stormed clear in Friday's Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket, the first race on the new "Road to the Kentucky Oaks" scoring system.
Trained by Mahmood al Zarooni and confidently ridden by Mickael Barzalona, the daughter of Elusive Quality was nestled near the rear, angled to the inside for room, and unleashed a powerful late kick.
Certify drew off by 4 1/2 lengths, extending her record to a perfect four-for-four. In the process, she earned 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
The official event logos for Kentucky Derby 139 and Kentucky Oaks 139 were released Tuesday (Sept. 18) by Churchill Downs, and officially licensed apparel and headwear featuring the new marks are now available for purchase online at www.KentuckyDerbyStore.com.
Brereton Jones’ homebred Believe You Can wore down pace-setting Broadway’s Alibi inside the eighth pole and drew off to win the 138th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks by three-quarters of a length before a crowd of 112,552 on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
The attendance was the second largest in Oaks history, surpassed by only the 116,046 on hand for the 2010 running.
The Kentucky Oaks victory was the second for Brereton Jones and trainer Larry Jones, who teamed to win the 2008 Run for the Lilies with Proud Spell.