Trainer Todd Pletcher has entered two three-year-old fillies in Saturday's $100,000 Busher at Aqueduct, a race he won last year with eventual Kentucky Oaks heroine Princess of Sylmar.
Fierce Boots, who led wire-to-wire in winning the Busanda on January 4, is likely to employ the same tactics from post 2 in this 1 1/16-mile affair. Pletcher's other interest, My Jimmy Chew Girl, has form to find after dropping her last two in starter optional claiming company.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia, who was expected to face males in the February 22 Risen Star at Fair Grounds, will instead stay in her own division in the Rachel Alexandra on the same day, connections announced via Twitter Monday.
Co-owner Loooch Racing Stable and trainer Jeremiah Englehart each noted that this change of plan for her sophomore debut does not affect their major goal of pitting Ria Antonia against males on the Kentucky Derby trail.
Glencrest Farm's Onlyforyou flashed to the front at the start and led all the way in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Forward Gal at Gulfstream Park, remaining unbeaten with a 2 3/4-length decision in the seven-furlong event. Javier Castellano guided the extremely promising Todd Pletcher-trained filly.
Trainer Dallas Stewart has been very high on Saturday's Silverbulletday winner Unbridled Forever ever since she came into his barn, and the bay daughter of Unbridled's Song justified his optimism with the 1 1/2-length tally in the first leg of the local series that concludes with the Grade 2, $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks on Louisiana Derby Day, March 29.
Lemons Forever posted one of the biggest upsets in recent Kentucky Oaks history when taking the 2006 edition at odds of 47-1. Her three-year-old daughter, Unbridled Forever, won't be so easily dismissed in the future following a convincing score in Saturday's $125,000 Silverbulletday at Fair Grounds.
The five-stakes "Road to the Derby Kickoff" day at Fair Grounds on Saturday includes the $125,000 Silverbulletday at one mile and 70 yards, which features three-year-old fillies with Kentucky Oaks aspirations.
Six fillies were entered in the Silverbulletday, with Divine Beauty the likely favorite. A debut winner at Churchill in September, the Brereton Jones homebred romped by 6 1/4 lengths over subsequent Dixie Belle winner Street Story in the December 21 Letellier Memorial going six furlongs.
Fair Grounds-based trainer Dallas Stewart, who saddled Lemons Forever to win the 2006 Kentucky Oaks for a $96.20 win payoff, is now hopeful of pursuing that sort of campaign with Charles Fipke's Unbridled Forever, a precocious daughter of that Lemon Drop Kid mare.
To that end, the McComb, Mississippi-born Stewart breezed Unbridled Forever five furlongs in 1:03 2/5 Sunday morning over Fair Grounds' fast main track in preparation for Saturday's $125,000 Silverbulletday on Road to the Derby Kickoff Day at the Crescent City oval.
Kaleem Shah Inc.'s Awesome Baby dueled throughout the backstretch with Taste Like Candy in Saturday's Grade 2, $196,000 Santa Ynez before pulling away in the lane and then holding that rival's late surge to win by a half-length on the wire. The 5-1 third choice in the short four-filly field returned $12.60 to her backers for finishing 6 1/2 furlongs on Santa Anita's fast main track in 1:16 3/5.
Fierce Boots took the lead coming out of the gate and was never challenged as she rolled to a two-length upset of 9-5 favorite Flipcup in Saturday's $100,000 Busanda for three-year-old fillies at Aqueduct.
Taste Like Candy, a solid second to Streaming in her stakes debut in last month's Hollywood Starlet, reverts to sprinting for the Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita. The 6 1/2-furlong dash for three-old fillies only attracted a field of four and will be run as the second race on Saturday's card.
Saturday's $100,000 Busanda features a field of eight three-year-old fillies at Aqueduct. Flipcup, a runaway winner of the recent East View for New York-breds, will tackle open company in the one-mile and 70-yard event on the inner track.
As part of the "Prep Season" portion of the Road to the Kentucky Oaks scoring system, the Busanda will offer points on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.
It was only a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race, but Taste Like Candy's 6 1/2-length debut win at Santa Anita on October 20 suggested the sky was the limit for the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly. She will have an opportunity to prove herself against a more seasoned group Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Hollywood Starlet over 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track.
Ron Winchell's Kentucky homebred Tapiture put away the field by 4 1/4 lengths to break his maiden in Saturday's Grade 2, $175,200 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs. The Steve Asmussen charge grabbed the public's attention while racking up 10 points in the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" race and will head to Fair Grounds for his three-year-old campaign.
"He goes to the Fair Grounds from here," Asmussen said when asked if he would head to Fair Grounds or California next.
Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider's homebred Vexed scored a one-length victory on Saturday in the Grade 2, $169,050 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs with jockey Shaun Bridgmohan aboard.
Repole Stable's Stopchargingmaria just got up to take Saturday's Grade 2, $400,000 Demoiselle at Aqueduct over stablemate Got Lucky and tenacious pacesetter Penwith. The Todd Pletcher-trained juvenile miss lived up to her 4-5 favoritism in the nine-furlong contest, which was clocked in a pedestrian time of 1:52 3/5 over the fast main track.
Todd Pletcher will be seeking his third win in a row in the $400,000 Demoiselle at Aqueduct on Saturday, and has given himself an excellent shot of doing so by saddling half of the six two-year-old fillies in the 1 1/8-mile fixture.
Tepin wore down 5-2 favorite Bahnah in the stretch to claim the victory in Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess for two-year-old fillies.
Tracking in fourth under Miguel Mena as Zip On led through fractions of :22 4/5 and :47 2/5, Tepin held her position as Bahnah seized control from that one around the far turn. Given her cue by Mena after Bahnah passed the six-furlong marker in 1:12 2/5, Tepin eventually proved best with a winning stretch bid.
Unable to show her true colors in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies earlier this month, Concave will be hoping for better luck against six rivals in Saturday's Grade 3, $500,000 Delta Downs Princess at one mile.
She's a Tiger just held off Ria Antonia on the wire of Saturday's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, but was disqualified for a slight bumping incident right before the wire, which resulted in the runner-up being elevated to victory by the stewards in the $1,840,000 event.
TEAMS WITH PANASONIC FOR $12 MILLION HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO BOARD IN TIME FOR 2014 KENTUCKY OAKS AND KENTUCKY DERBY