Upstart wins big in the Holy Bull Stakes
Upstart planted his feet firmly on the Kentucky Derby trail on Saturday as he dominated the $400,000 Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Sent off as the 2/1 second choice, Upstart (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sat just behind Bluegrass Singer early on who set the pace in the mile and one sixteenth event. Bluegrass Singer had Upstart glued to his hip the entire time while the race favorite Frosted (BetPTC.com Top Choice) was just behind them in fourth. Upstart and Jose Ortiz cranked up the pressure on Bluegrass Singer and started to pull ahead turning for home. They widened their lead throughout the stretch run, eventually beating Frosted by five and one half lengths.
Birdatthewire turned in a huge stretch run to win the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes for three year old fillies. She was tenth to get away early on and Enchantress (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and race favorite Seduire (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out to set the early pace. As they ran on the far turn By The Moon made a big move at the quarter pole and came into the stretch in front and looked like she might be tough to catch. But once she straightened away she had nothing left and Birdatthewire and Irad Ortiz Jr. just blew right by, eventually winning by three and a quarter lengths. Lassofthemohicans got up for second ahead of Taylor S. who was third.
Dubai Sky (BetPTC.com Top Selection) won a hard fought edition of the Kitten’s Joy Stakes besting a very game Courtier (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection). Those two were 1-2 the entire way around and it was a cat and mouse game that was won by Dubai Sky and John Velasquez who headed the $80 exacta. In the Grade 3 Hutcheson it was Barbados (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who passed a stubborn XY Jet (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) to win the Grade 3 Hutcheson Stakes. And in the Grade 3 Sweetest Chant it was favored Consumer Credit (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who rallied from just off the pace to get the win. Sent off at odds of 9/5, Consumer Credit and Edgard Zayas pulled out from the inside at the top of the lane and sprinted late to catch Quality Rocks who finished up in second.
Cassatt goes all the way in the Houston Ladies Classic
Cassatt was able to coast all the way on the front end in the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, but the final furlong she had to work to hold on to the win. Sent off as the heavy 3/5 favorite, Cassatt (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) broke beautifully under jockey Kerwin Clark and they were able to set a very reasonable pace. They arrived at the top of the stretch clear by two and traveling well. Shannon Nicole (BetPTC.com Top Selection) burst from out of the pack as did Angelica Zapata as those two chased Cassatt. It started to get close as they came to the wire, but Cassatt was able to hold on and win by a neck. Angelica Zapata got up into the second position while Shannon Nicole rounded out the trifecta.
In the Grade 3 John Connally Stakes it was another wire to wire win by a favorite, this time it was Coalport. Sent off at odds of 4/5, Coalport (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went right to the lead and was able to walk through an opening quarter of 25.19 seconds and a half mile in 49 seconds. Coalport and Miguel Mena came to the top of the lane three in front and never looked back as they opened up and won with easy by three and a quarter lengths. Trace Creek finished up in second with Daddy’s Kit rounding out the trifecta.
Alert Bay wins controversial Cal Cup Turf Classic
Alert Bay has been a winning machine lately, but he had to survive a long stewards inquiry on Saturday to win the $250,000 Cal Cup Turf Classic. Alert Bay (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was traveling in fourth as they came to the top of the lane. Jockey Tyler Baze elected to go inside and interfered with GG Ryder while doing so. Alert Bay came up inside of Boozer and caught that one right at the line to get the win by a neck. Boozer held second over a very fast closing Patriots Rule. After the long steward’s inquiry they ruled that Alert Bay didn’t cost GG Rider a position and that’s why there was no disqualification.
Spirit Rules pulled off a 12/1 upset over heavily favored San Onofre to win the Cal Cup Sprint. San Onofre got to the lead early but Iggy Puglisi and Spirit Rules came right up alongside at the top of the lane and forged ahead and held on to win by half a length over San Onofre. Gary Stevens turned in a beautiful ride as he guided Go West Marie up the fence to get up late to win the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint. Sent off at odds of 5/1, Go West Marie had to catch a loose on the lead long shot, as 21/1 Home Journey and Tyler Baze snuck away at the top of the lane and opened up three and a half lengths. Go West Marie was relentless in her chase though and got up in the final yards to win by three quarters of a length.
Mischief Clem (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) pulled off an upset victory in the Cal Cup Derby as heavily favored and previously undefeated Acceptance ran off the board. Acceptance got to the lead early on but faded at the top of the lane when Pulmareck (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) took the lead. Mischief Clem came up alongside and those two battled to the wire with Mischief Clem winning by a head over Pulmareck. Singing Kitty (BetPTC.com Longshot) scored a 7/1 upset in the Cal Cup Oaks as she came from off the pace to beat the favorite Heat The Rocks (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) by a length and get the win.