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.
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.
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.
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.
A history-making 138th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs Racetrack on Friday, May 4, concluded with record total wagering, near-record attendance of 112,552 and an historic victory by jockey Rosie Napravnik, who rode Brereton C. Jones’s Believe You Can to victory to become the first woman to win America’s premier race for 3-year-old fillies.
JOHN VELAZQUEZ (Broadway’s Alibi, second) – “I think she handled the track OK but the first time over a track, she paddles a lot. She lost some momentum. The ground broke away from her. I don’t think the distance hurt her, I think the track didn’t help. She still ran a huge race.”
JAVIER CASTELLANO (Grace Hall, third) – “The track was playing for speed today. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me. They didn’t come back to me. I was third best today.”
ROSIE NAPRAVNIK (Jockey) – "It's unbelievable. I'm just so happy and so grateful to be here. There's a lot of people that are a big part of me getting to this and winning this race and I just can't thank everybody enough. "I cried a little but I don't think I'm done crying yet. "Dream trip, absolutely.
Mark Bacon and Dana Wells’ Silver Max went to the front early and never was threatened in winning the 21st running of the $238,200 American Turf Presented by RAM (Grade II) by 2 ¾ lengths over Travel Advisory on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Dale Romans, Silver Max won his third consecutive race on turf, including a score in the Transylvania (GIII) last month at Keeneland.
Morton Fink’s Successful Dan wore down Fort Larned in deep stretch to win the ninth running of the $337,800 Alysheba Presented by Besilu Stables (Grade II) by a length in track record time Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Successful Dan ran the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:41.04 to break the track record of 1:41.27 established by Brass Hat on July 8, 2007 and shattered the stakes record of 1:42.32 established by Limehouse in 2005.
Jill Baffert’s Contested swept past Good Deed in upper stretch and romped to a 4 ¾-length victory in stakes record time to win the 57th running of the $110,000 Eight Belles Presented by Xerox (Grade III) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Contested, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Arch mare Gold Vault, ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.19. The previous stakes record was established by Roxelana (1:21.97) in 2000.