Weekend Recap 10/20

Madame Cactus upsets the Lexus Raven Run at Keeneland

It’s not terribly often you see horses win graded stakes events coming off the also-eligible list, especially when it’s a race that’s not an “off the turf” event.  But Madame Cactus drew into the body of the field and proceeded to best her thirteen rivals and take home the $250,000 Grade 2 Lexus Raven Run Stakes.  Sent off at odds of 11/1, Madame Cactus and Joe Rocco Jr. were tenth early on as Turn By Turn and Finding More went out and battled for the early lead through a strong first quarter of 22.17 seconds.  They kept it up through a punishing half mile of 44.67 seconds and once they got to the stretch, all that hard work early on caught up to them and did so quickly.  Eden Prairie grabbed the lead at the head of the lane and pulled open a solid two and a half length advantage in mid-stretch.  But Rocco and Madame Cactus came roaring down the center of the track after going nine paths wide to get up and win by a neck in the final jumps.  My Option closed up from tenth place early on to get into the third spot, to complete the very rare 16-14-10 trifecta.

Eighttofasttocatch was too fast to catch in Maryland Million Classic 

Eighttofasttocatch looked like the speed of the speed and the class of the race, and he won like a 1/5 shot should in the $150,000 Maryland Millions Classic.  Eighttofasttocatch ( Top Selection) and Forrest Boyce went bouncing out to the front and was allowed to set a very moderate tempo.  Romancing the Gold ( 3rd Selection) was second throughout and only got mildly close down the backstretch, as Eighttofasttocatch opened up on the turn and never looked back, winning by three and a quarter lengths over Romancing the Gold.  Wild Louis ( Longshot) got up to complete the trifecta.

In the Maryland Millions Turf it was a thrilling stretch drive between the wildly popular Ben’s Cat and defending champion in the race Roadhog.  Ben’s Cat ( Top Selection) opened up a lead in midstretch after stalking Capital Fellow throughout much of the race.  Ben’s Cat made his break, but Roadhog ( 2nd Selection) and Kendrick Carmouche came roaring from out of the pack and caught Ben’s Cat in the final jumps.  Maddy’s Dance closed from last place to win the Maryland Millions Distaff at a 13/1 price play.  Ann’s Smart Dancer ( Selection) also rallied from the back but lost by a short neck.

Monster Sleeping ( Top Selection) rallied from just off the pace to win the Maryland Millions Ladies Stakes at 4/1.  Monster Sleeping was third early on as Mystic Love went bounding out to the early lead.  Jose Garcia guided Monster Sleeping towards the outside rolled by the leaders to pull clear by two lengths.  Ribo Bobo ( Top Selection) went right to the front and never looked back to draw off to win by almost six lengths over Action Andy ( 2nd Selection).

Fred High takes home the Breeders’ Classic Stakes at Charles Town

Fred High stamped himself as the new king of the West Virginia breds on Saturday night as he rallied late to win by three quarters of a length in the $500,000 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic Stakes.  Sent off at odds of 5/1 Fred High stayed back in seventh early on as the heavy favorite Lucy’s Bob Boy went out to set the early fractions which were only moderate.  Lucy’s Bob Boy got headed by Russell Road ( 2nd Selection) at the top of the stretch and looked for a second like he might be the winner.  But Fred High and Wesley Ho came roaring from out of the pack to get up late to win by three quarters of a length.  Russell Road was second while Clink Clink Clink ( Long shot) finished up in third at 58/1 and returned $104.00 to show.

A Toast To You lights up the toteboard in the California Flag Handicap 

A Toast To You came flying in the final yards of the six and one half furlong California Flag Handicap at Santa Anita on Saturday.  Sent off at a juicy 18/1, A Toast To You and Mario Gutierrez were sixth early on as Atta Boy Pete and Strong Wind both went out to set the early fractions.  Aint No Other ( 2nd Selection), the race favorite, came bursting out from the pack and took command and looked like a winner at the sixteenth pole.  But A Toast To You just had too much momentum late and got up to win by a half a length.

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