California Chrome passes his turf test and wins the Hollywood Derby
California Chrome looked right at home on the grass as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ added to his resume with an impressive win in the Hollywood Derby at Del Mar. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite, California Chrome (BetPTC.com Top Selection) broke on top but eventually yielded to Sawyer’s Hill who wanted the lead as they passed the wire first time around. Victor Espinoza got Chrome to relax in second as they went down the backstretch and they finally came back after Sawyer’s Hill as they turned for home. California Chrome burst to the lead and quickly kicked away. Lexie Lou came out of the pack to be the lone challenger but California Chrome had plenty left and won convincingly by two lengths over Lexie Lou. Talco (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) finished up in third.
Ol’ Fashioned Gal and Joe Talamo pulled off a shocking upset in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes when they scored a 21/1 victory. Ol’ Fashioned Gal got a garden trip early on just behind the speedsters and came to the lead as they came into the stretch. Race favorite Rainha Da Bateria (BetPTC.com Top Selection) came with a furious rally down the stretch but came up a neck short of Ol’ Fashioned Gal at the line. In the Grade 3 Native Diver it was Big Cazanova who went right to the front and never looked back as he galloped around the track to a convincing three and one quarter length win. Big Cazanova got to the lead and Blueskiesnrainbows didn’t apply pressure as expected and Big Cazanova waltzed around to the big win.
Private Zone all the way to win the Cigar Mile
Private Zone got to the lead and rode a golden rail all the way around to win the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Private Zone (BetPTC.com Top Selection) blasted right to the lead under Martin Pedroza and set a very strong pace, getting through a half mile in 44.18 seconds. But on a day where horses were winning on the rail all day long, Private Zone opened up down the lane and won with ease, scoring by five lengths over Secret Circle who ran second. Bourbon Courage (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) got up for third.
Leave The Light On went to the lead and stayed on the rail and was able to hold off a very game Frosted (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) to win the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes. In the first mile and one eighth race for the 2 year olds, those top two were eight lengths ahead of Keen Ice who closed from eleventh early to get up for third. Condo Commando (BetPTC.com Top Selection) absolutely dominated the Demoiselle Stakes as she went wire to wire to win by eleven and a half lengths. As was protocol for the day, Condo Commando got to the lead and went right to the rail and never looked back as they bested Calamity Kane who finished second. The Grade 3 Comely saw Snowbell go wire to wire for a two and one quarter length win over 29/1 long shot Shayjolie (BetPTC.com Long shot) who ran second.
Hoppertunity takes home the Clark Handicap
Hoppertunity missed the triple crown trail but he scored a huge victory Friday when he scored in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap. Sent off as the 2/1 favorite, Hoppertunity stalked early pacesetter Constitution (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who went to the front and set the very slow early pace, getting through a half mile in 49.04 seconds. Constitution led into the stretch but Hoppertunity finally wore by him at the eighth pole. He had to hold off Protonico (BetPTC.com Longshot) who rallied down the center of the course. But Hoppertunity held on to win by half a length over Protonico and Constitution.
Saturday it was the two year olds on display as El Kabeir held on to win the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes. Sent off at odds of 7/1, El Kabeir went right to the front and opened up almost three lengths down the backstretch. He came into the lane still two in front and started to tire late, but was able to outlast Imperia (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to win by a head. In the Golden Rod for the fillies it was favored West Coast Belle (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who held off a late charge from No Fault of Mine who rallied from last early on to finish second.