Hillstar takes home the top honors in the Canadian International
Hillstar held off a game challenge from Big Blue Kitten to take home the top honors in the $1,000,000 Canadian International at Woodbine on Sunday afternoon. The action before the race proved very interesting as well as the race favorite Brown Panther broke loose and dumped the rider and ran off and had to be scratched. That left Hillstar (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) with the role of favorite. Hillstar was kept back in 5th early on as The Pizza Man and Reporting Star took turns up on the lead. The Pizza Man let it out a notch as they started the run into that final sweeping turn but Hillstar surged to the lead and was able to hold off the late charge of Big Blue Kitten (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to get the win by three quarters of a length. They were two lengths clear of Dynamic Sky (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran third and completed an $86 trifecta.
In the Grade 1 EP Taylor it was Just The Judge (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Jamie Spencer who took home the top prize. Just the Judge came from off the pace as Wall of Sound and Deceptive Vision (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out and set a very slow pace, getting through a half mile in a leisurely 50.88 seconds. Deceptive Vision looked like she was going to go on with it at the top of the stretch but came up empty as Just the Judge blew on by. Just The Judge had to hold off a late charge from Odeliz who came from last and made it close, with Just the Judge holding on to win by a half a length. In the Grade 2 Nearctic it was Caspar Netscher who made it a clean sweep for the Euros as He rallied from off the pace to win the six furlong sprint event. Black Hornet and Justin Stein opened up a huge lead and were still in front by three and a half in mid-stretch. But that daunting stretch at Woodbine got the best of Black Hornet as Casper Netscher got up late to win by three quarters of a length.
Effinex pulls a shocker in the Empire Classic
Effinex rallied from far off the pace to win the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap as part of Empire Showcase day at Belmont Park. Sent off at odds of 17/1, Effinex sat back in seventh early on as So Lonesome (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out to set the pace, which was a solid 47.08 seconds for the opening half mile. So Lonesome maintained that one length lead for most of the journey and arrived at mid-stretch with a length advantage. But Angel Arroyo and Effinex had cut the corner well and rallied to nail So Lonesome in the final strides, winning by a neck in the end. Beautyinthepulpit (BetPTC.com Top Selection finished up in third.
Princess Violet (BetPTC.com Top Selection) turned the Empire Distaff Handicap into a procession as she scored by five and one half lengths. Princess Violet was fourth early on as hopeless long shot Pennymine set a quick early pace. Princess Violet and Jose Ortiz came with a four wide bid at the quarter pole and blew the fields doors off down the lane, winning by five and a half lengths over Flipcup who got up for second. Discreet Marq (BetPTC.com Top Selection) coasted to a facile win in the Ticonderoga, winning by three lengths over 21/1 bomber Old Harbor and 10/1 Selenite.
Taris dominates the Raven Run
Taris turned in easily the most impressive win of the horse racing weekend as she scored a monstrous win in the $250,000 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland. Sent to post at odds of 7/1, Taris (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went right to the front under jockey Clinton Potts and absolutely drilled the first half mile, getting to that marker in 44.80 seconds. Taris got to the top of the stretch in command, but on a day when closers were winning for much of the card, Taris drew off and poured it on to win by nine emphatic lengths. Sweet Whiskey (BetPTC.com Longshot) got up to complete a $154 exacta.
Eighttofasttocatch once again wins the Maryland Millions Classic
Eighttofasttocatch won the Maryland Millions Classic for the third time in his career and became racing’s newest millionaire with the win. Eighttofasttocatch (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) broke beautifully and went to the front and set a strong early pace. He opened up on the final turn and never looked back under jockey Forest Boyce as they steadily edged away down the lane to win by four and one half lengths. Concealed Identity (BetPTC.com Longshot) closed up to finish second and complete an $18.20 exacta.
Talk Show Man (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) closed late to catch fan-favorite Ben’s Cat (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and win the Maryland Millions Turf. Ben’s Cat sat second early on and took the lead as they ran on the far turn. Ben’s Cat came to the eighth pole a half length in front of Roadhog (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection). But Talk Show Man and Xavier Perez closed by them both and got up to win by half a length over Ben’s Cat. The Trifecta came back with a $101 payout for ever $2. DC Dancer (BetPTC.com Longshot) got up to score a minor 6/1 upset in the Maryland Million Sprint, rallying from off the pace to catch Always Smiling (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection). Favored Avarice (BetPTC.com Top Selection) got up for third completing a $192 trifecta.