Hard Aces comes up the rail to win the Gold Cup at Santa Anita
Hard Aces saved all the ground and held off a late challenge from Hoppertunity to win the $500,000 Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. Sent off at odds of 7/1, Hard Aces (BetPTC.com Longshot) was last early on as Big Cazanova went out to set the early pace. Moreno (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was unable to get the lead and was actually fourth early on, just ahead of race favorite Catch a Flight (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who was fifth early on. Big Cazanova came to the top of the lane with the lead but was quickly collared by Catch a Flight. Meanwhile Hard Aces started to rally up the inside while Hoppertunity (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) took the overland route and went five wide. As they came into the final furlong Hard Aces and Hoppertunity went on and at the wire Hard Aces got up to win by the narrowest of margins, just a nose in front of Hoppertunity.
The Grade 1 Triple Bend topped a big undercard at Santa Anita and saw Masochistic (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) score a huge victory. Sent off as the even money favorite Masochistic was second early on and took command at the top of the lane and opened up, pouring it on to win by three and a half lengths over 12/1 shot Appealing Tale (BetPTC.com Longshot) who ran second. The Grade 2 Royal Heroine saw Fanticola (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) take home top honors. Fanticola was second early on and took command late. She got a big challenge from Queen of the Sand (BetPTC.com Top Selection) late but found the wire just in time as she held on to win by a neck over Queen of the Sand. Stormy Lucy (BetPtC.com Longshot) finished up in third to complete a $174 trifecta. In the Senorita Stakes it was Prize Exhibit (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who went from last to first to win the Grade 3 event. Prize Exhibit had to catch Long Hot Summer who was on the lead the entire way until the sixteenth pole when Prize Exhibit blew on by to win by two and a quarter lengths.
Include Betty from last to first to win the Mother Goose Stakes
Include Betty and Drayden Van Dyke passed all of their nine rivals in the final half mile to win the Grade 1 $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes. Sent off at odds of 5/1, Include Betty was away in tenth as long shot Hot City Girl went out and set a strong pace, getting through a half mile in 45.50 seconds. Hot City Girl brought that lead into the stretch with a slew of challengers just in behind, but Include Betty had all the momentum on the outside and she catapulted past Hot City Girl and drew off to win by three and one quarter lengths. Favored Wonder Gal (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) got up for second ahead of Chide who ran third.
Departing gets his turf win as he scores in the Firecracker Stakes
Departing proved that his move to the grass was a smart one on Saturday as he scored an impressive win in the $200,000 Firecracker Stakes. Sent off at odds of 4/1, Departing was mid-pack early on as Frac Daddy (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Sky Flight (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out and battled for the early lead. They didn’t go too fast early on but as they came to the top of the stretch they were both clearly tiring. Departing and Miguel Mena had to get through a tight spot which they did and scooted away to score a nice win. Knights Nation got up for second while Sky Flight held on for third.
In the Grade 3 Debutante it was Calvin Borel and Cosmic Evolution who convincingly scored. She took command at the top of the stretch and held off favored Adhara (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran on well to finish second. He’s Comin In Hot (BetPTC.com Top Selection) took home the top honors in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor going wire to wire. He’s Comin In Hot went right to the front and got a brief challenge from Show Bound (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) at the top of the lane and pulled clear to win by three and three quarter lengths. Viva Majorca (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) rallied from off the pace to score a win in the Kelly’s Landing Stakes, holding off favored Schivarelli (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who finished up in second.
Golden Lad gets up in time to win the Cornhusker Handicap
Golden Lad had to reel in 30/1 long shot Ecleto Red in the final yards to get up and win the $300,000 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows on Saturday night. Golden Lad (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was stalking Ecleto Red from third early on and as they came to the top of the lane it looked like Golden Lad might not get to Ecleto Red, but Javier Castellano was able to get Golden Lad in gear late to win by a length and a half. Ecleto Red was gallant to finish second while Paige McKenney (BetPTC.com Longshot) finished in third.
In the Iowa Derby it was Bent on Bourbon (BetPTC.com Longshot) who impressively won by three lengths. Bent on Bourbon stalked the leaders early and took command at the top of the lane and drew off down the lane, finishing three lengths ahead of Allied Air Raid (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who finished second. Sarah Sis (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went wire to wire to win the Iowa Oaks, holding off a late charge from Pangburn to win by a nose.