Empire Dreams takes the Empire Classic
Empire Dreams made a sweeping move on the final turn and held off a good rally from Royal Posse to win the $300,000 Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont Park on Saturday. Sent off at odds of 7/2, Empire Dreams was fifth early on as Warrioroftheroses (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) set a blistering pace, getting through a half mile in 45.65 seconds. Warrioroftheroses took that lead into the far turn but was totally out of gas before the quarter pole and plummeted through the field. Meanwhile Empire Dreams and Manual Franco started to roll and with a six wide move blew past his rivals and grabbed the lead. Royal Posse (BetPTC.com Top Selection) burst out of the pack into a clear second but could only get within three quarters of a length as the wire came up with Empire Dreams in front.
Wonder Gal (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) got back to her winning ways as she cruised to an easy win in the Empire Distaff. Sent off as the 9/5 second choice, Wonder Gal got a beautiful setup as race favorite Hot Stones (BetPTC.com Top Selection) traded punches early with Carameaway. Jose Lezcano made his move with Wonder Gal outside the quarter pole and she drew off down the lane to win by two and a half over Temper Mint Patty (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who rallied up for second. One of the biggest upsets of Empire Classic Day came in the finale as 27/1 shot Invading Humor went gate to wire to win the Ticonderoga. Invading Humor and Jose Lezcano went to the lead and even though they drifted a bit into the stretch, nobody ever got close as they won by a length and three quarters over Distorted Beauty.
Super Surprise (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was a surprise to bettors as she rallied from off the pace to win at 17/1. She was eighth early on as fellow price horse Frosty Margarita went to the front. Frosty Margarita shook off a challenge from favorite She’s All Ready (BetPTC.com Top Selection) but couldn’t hold off Super Surprise who burst by in the final jumps to win by a three quarters of a length. Lubash (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Kharafa (BetPTC.com Top Selection) put on a memorable stretch battle as they both rallied in tandem on the turn and battled it out all the way home, with a head advantage going to Lubash at the wire to get the win.
La Verdad (BetPTC.com Top Selection) cruised to an easy win in the Iroquois as she crushed her rivals. She’s expected to wheel back in a week for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Palace (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was able to get back into the winner’s circle after edging away from Captain Serious (BetPTC.com Top Selection) in the final yards of the Hudson Handicap.
Tiger Ride flies late to win the Valley View
Tiger Ride was eighth early on, but first when it mattered as she won an off the dirt edition of the Valley View Stakes at Keeneland. Sent off at odds of 6/1, Tiger Ride (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) was in the back of the pack early on as long shot Calypso Beat set a moderate pace. Tiger Ride and race favorite Include Betty made their moves on the turn and Tiger Ride surged to the lead with Include Betty right on her hip. But Tiger Ride had more left in the tank and edged away from Include Betty late to win it by a length.
Om goes all the way in the Twilight Derby
Om got to the lead and never looked back as he cruised around the Santa Anita oval on Saturday to a win in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby. Sent off as the 1/2 favorite, Gary Stevens and Om (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) broke beautifully and never faced any real pressure as they galloped around. At the top of the stretch they kicked for home and won by two and a half lengths over Mister Brightside and Royal Albert Hall who finished second and third respectively.
In the Big Bear Stakes it was Dortmund (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who came back to the races in style as he won in very strong fashion. Sent off as the prohibitive 1/5 favorite, Dortmund stalked Soi Phet early on and pounced on that rival on the far turn. Motown Men got a good run through on the rail at the top of the stretch but he was no match for Dortmund who lengthened his stride and put away his competition, winning by almost two in the end over a late closing Point Piper (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who got up for second.
Forevamo takes home the Jean Laffite at Delta Downs
Forevamo and Colby Hernandez rallied from off the pace on Saturday night to win the $200,000 Jean Laffite Stakes at Delta Downs. The Jean Laffite is the final local prep for the Delta Jackpot and Forevamo was a maiden coming in, but he left with a big win under his belt. He had finished second in his last start at Churchill for trainer Al Stall. Forevamo was fifth early on and made a big move as they ran on the final turn. They hit the lead and held off a late rally from Harlan Punch (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who got up to finish a clear second