Suarez Racing Inc.'s CALIFORNIA NECTAR (Stormy Atlantic) held off the late run of Zazu (Tapit) to score a neck victory on Saturday in the $150,000 Santa Ynez S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park. With jockey Pat Valenzuela in the saddle, the bay lass set all the pace in the seven-furlong test, drawing off to a 1 1/2-length advantage in the lane before just holding on the line to stop the clock in 1:21 1/5 over the fast dirt.
Right Time Racing LLC's BOUQUET BOOTH (Flower Alley) was the only runner on the stakes undercard of Fair Grounds' Road to the Derby Kickoff Day who ended up justifying the public's faith as favorite when capturing Saturday's $98,000 Silverbulletday S., formerly known as the Tiffany Lass S.
Trainer Bob Baffert summed up Sunday's $92,000 Santa Ysabel S. (G3) at Santa Anita with one simple remark: "It was a good race for her, a good workout for her."
The Hall of Fame conditioner was of course referring to Kaleem Shah's MAY DAY ROSE (Rockport Harbor), who faced only two rivals in Sunday's test following the scratches of Zazu (Tapit) and Plum Pretty (Medaglia d'Oro). The filly proceeded to turn the race into a procession.
Herman Van Den Broeck's homebred ANGELICA ZAPATA (Sharp Humor) opened her three-year-old season with a convincing victory in Saturday's $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy S. at Turfway Park, parlaying a front-running trip into a 5 1/2-length win.
Plum Lake Racing LLC's MAZUCAMBERA (Milwaukee Brew) went from claim to fame by adjusting her running style in time to get a come-from-behind, three-quarter length victory in Saturday's $50,000 Dixie Belle S., the opening day feature at Oaklawn Park.
An easy winner in her first two career starts, TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) will be the one to beat when she lines up against seven rivals in Saturday's $300,000 Hollywood Starlet (G1). The 1 1/16-mile test marks the two-turn debut for the Mike Puype-trained filly, who toyed with maiden special weight rivals before winning the November 21 Moccasin S. under a hand ride. The Florida-bred was heavily favored in both outings, and she'll retain the services of David Flores for this one.
The Mike Puype-trained TURBULENT DESCENT (Congrats) scored a cheeky win in Sunday's $100,000 Moccasin S. at Hollywood Park, remaining unbeaten from two starts and confirming her status as an up-and-coming juvenile filly.
After chasing the pace three wide, the 3-5 favorite smoothly took command entering the stretch and repelled Zazu (Tapit) under super-confident handling by David Flores. Turbulent Descent coasted home by 1 1/2 lengths, unextended, while touring seven furlongs in 1:23 on the Cushion Track.
Red Oak Stable's NEVERSAIDIWASSWEET (Eurosilver) hit her best stride yards from the wire of Sunday's $100,000 Miesque S. (G3) at Hollywood Park, just getting up to nip Holiday for Kitten (Kitten's Joy) by a half-length for the victory. Breaking her maiden last out under the tutelage of Kristin Mulhall, the dark bay lass was saddled this time by new trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, stopped the clock for the mile firm-turf test in 1:35 4/5.
Five D Thoroughbreds and Wind River Stables' KATHMANBLU (Bluegrass Cat) was sent off the 6-5 favorite in Saturday's $163,800 Golden Rod S. (G2) at Churchill Downs and fulfilled all expectations with a dominating 8 1/2-length victory under jockey Julien Leparoux. The Kenny McPeek charge took command of the race entering the stretch and merely strutted her stuff from that point forward, drawing off to stop the clock in 1:44 2/5 for 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track.
Edward Evans' homebred DIXIE CITY (Dixie Union) turned back a bid from Believe in A. P. (A.P. Indy) leaving the far turn and rolled home an easy winner in Saturday's $200,000 Demoiselle S. (G2) at Aqueduct. A troubled third when making her stakes debut in the November 6 Tempted S. (G3), the Tony Dutrow-trained juvenile filly improved her mark to 5-3-0-2 with the 3 1/4-length decision, completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 4/5 under the guidance of Jose Lezcano.
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.