A mid-week trip from his California base to Gulfstream Park for Wednesday's $100,000 Old Hat S. (G3) proved fruitful for jockey Joel Rosario, as he guided trainer Wesley Ward's FINAL MESA (Sky Mesa) to victory in the six-furlong dash for three-year-old fillies by 1 3/4 lengths on opening day of the Hallandale Beach, Florida, course's 2011 meet.
Bobby Flay's MORE THAN REAL (More Than Ready) rallied strongly to the lead in upper stretch and went on to a comfortable two-length victory in Friday's $909,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2), earning her first stakes win in her third lifetime start. With Garrett Gomez in the saddle, the Todd Pletcher-trained chestnut finished the mile over the firm turf at Churchill Downs in 1:36 3/5.
Right Time Racing's BOUQUET BOOTH (Flower Alley) made a sweeping move around the final turn to reach contention in Saturday's $500,000 Delta Downs Princess S. (G3), then was up in time through the short stretch to prevail by a half-length over fellow Kentucky shipper Niji's Grand Girl (Candy Ride [Arg]) in the lucrative one-mile heat for juvenile fillies. Sent away at 9-1 under Shaun Bridgmohan, the dark bay finished up in 1:40 2/5 over the fast track and returned $21.20, $9 and $6.60.
Judy Hicks and Kathryn Nikkel's homebred LILACS AND LACE (Flower Alley) pulled off a minor upset of 1-2 favorite Cathy's Crunches (West Acre) in Saturday's $92,000 California Oaks at Golden Gate Fields, overtaking the pacesetter in the final yards to score by 1 1/2 lengths under Russell Baze.
The Duane Offield trainee covered 1 1/16 miles on the Tapeta in 1:46 1/5.
John C. Oxley's DANCINGINHERDREAMS (Tapit) bided her time just in behind the pacesetters during Sunday's $165,450 Pocahontas S. (G2) on Churchill Downs' opening day, angled to the rail entering the stretch and spurted away in the lane to be 5 1/4 lengths clear on the wire in only her second career start. The John Ward Jr. trainee broke her maiden by five lengths at Keeneland on October 10, and moved her record to a perfect two-for-two here when finishing one-mile on the fast main track in 1:38 2/5.
Jacks or Better Farm's homebred AWESOME FEATHER (Awesome of Course) had already asserted her dominance over the juvenile filly ranks at Calder, but on Friday the Stanley Gold trainee was ready to take on the rest of her division when lining up in the $1,818,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs.
After tracking the pace in second during the opening stages, Zayat Stables' homebred A Z WARRIOR (Bernardini) accelerated away from her foes in upper stretch and went on to a comfortable 1 3/4-length score in Saturday's $300,000 Frizette S. (G1) at Belmont Park. Trained by Bob Baffert, the dark bay filly established herself as a top contender for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) with a smashing performance in her dirt debut.
Thor-Bred Stable LLC's RIGOLETTA (Concerto) wasn't given much chance of winning Sunday's $210,000 Oak Leaf S. (G1) during the Oak Tree at Hollywood meet, but the bay lass proved all her naysayers wrong with a gutsy half-length score over 1-2 favorite Tell a Kelly (Tapit). Sent off the 32-1 second longest shot in the seven-filly race, Rigoletta paid $67.40, $11.30 and $4.60 for finishing 8 1/2 Cushion Track furlongs in 1:44 under jockey David Flores.
Beverly Anderson and Edward Seltzer's WYOMIA (Vindication) led throughout to defeat odds-on choice Delightful Mary (Limehouse) by 2 3/4 lengths in Saturday's $225,470 Mazarine S. (Can-G3) for two-year-old fillies at Woodbine.
Guided by Emile Ramsammy, the Daniel Vella trainee covered 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack in 1:43 4/5.
Peter Moehrke, Rafter JR Ranch and STD Racing's WICKEDLY PERFECT (Congrats) rated close to a blistering pace, took over when the speed collapsed past the quarter pole, and had enough left to fend off challengers from the back to land the $150,000 Sorrento S. (G3) at Del Mar on Friday night. Under Rafael Bejarano, the near 6-1 fourth choice was clear by a length at the wire and completed 6 1/2 furlongs on Polytrack in 1:17.
Southern California invader WICKEDLY PERFECT (Congrats), who suffered her first career loss last time out in the Darley Debutante S. (G1) at Del Mar, got back on the winning track with a wire-to-wire victory in Friday's $400,000 Alcibiades S. (G1) on opening day at Keeneland. Under a well-judged ride by Rafael Bejarano, the 3-2 favorite maintained a safe two-length margin in her two-turn debut, and thereby propelled herself into the November 5 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Jeff Nielsen's FULL MOON BLUES (Petionville) made all the running to register an 11-1 upset of the $98,000 Tempted S. (G3) for juveniles fillies over a mile. Malcolm Franklin guided the Maryland-based filly through splits of :24, :48 1/5 and 1:13, and drew away to defeat favorites Tap for Luck (Tapit) and Dixie City (Dixie Union) in a time of 1:38 2/5 over a track labeled good.
Phillips Racing Partnership's homebred WINTER MEMORIES (El Prado [Ire]) ran away from her rivals in Sunday's $150,000 Miss Grillo S. (G3) at Belmont Park. With jockey Jose Lezcano aboard, the James Toner trainee circled the field rounding the turn and took command entering the stretch. From there, the gray lass turned the 1 1/16-mile turf test into a paid workout as she drew off under her own power to be 5 1/4 lengths clear on the wire.
Mark Dedomenico's WONDERLANDBYNIGHT (Sky Mesa) rallied into contention off the far turn and drew clear in the final furlong for a 2 1/2-length score in Saturday's $100,000 Arlington-Washington Lassie S. (G3). Trained by Michael Reavis and ridden by E.T. Baird, the chestnut juvenile filly survived a claim of foul by the jockey of runner-up Jordy Y (Congrats) to capture her graded debut, completing a mile over Polytrack in 1:36 3/5.
Starlight Partners' POSITION LIMIT (Bellamy Road) raced on the outside just in behind the leaders during Sunday's $150,000 Adirondack S. (G2) at Saratoga, began her run four wide on the turn and drew off in the stretch to capture the 6 1/2-furlong test by five lengths under jockey John Velazquez. The Todd Pletcher trainee finished up in 1:17 1/5 to move her record to a perfect two-for-two following a 6 3/4-length maiden victory on July 14 at Belmont Park.
Lansdon B. Robbins III's homebred LE MI GEAUX (First Samurai) had a bumpy start in Friday's $100,000 Schuylerville S. (G3) on Saratoga's opening day, settled near the rear, then came with a game run in the stretch to overtake longtime leader Stopspendingmaria (Montbrook) and score by 1 1/2 lengths. The chestnut miss was sent off the 9-1 fourth choice in the six-filly field and paid $20.20, $7.70 and $3.60 to her backers.