Weekend Recap 2/8

Shared Belief beats California Chrome to win the San Antonio Stakes

Shared Belief and California Chrome put on a show on Saturday in the $500,000 San Antonio Stakes and at the wire it was Shared Belief who finished a length and a half in front of his rival to get the win. Sent off as the even money favorite, Shared Belief ( Top Selection) set up shop in third early on as Alfa Bird set the pace with California Chrome ( 2nd Selection) just behind him in second. California Chrome and Victor Espinoza made their move after the lead as they ran to the far turn and did it comfortably. They arrived at the top of the stretch with Hoppertunity ( 3rd Selection) to their inside and Shared Belief looping up on the outside. California Chrome was a length clear in mid-stretch but Shared Belief leveled off and caught his rival in the final yards and pulled clear to win by a length and a half. California Chrome was second and it was six and a half lengths back to Hoppertunity who was third.

Earlier in the card it was Dortmund ( 2nd Selection) and Firing Line ( Top Selection) who put on a memorable battle in the Bob Lewis Stakes. Dortmund and Firing Line moved together at the three eighths pole and they battled the whole way home. Firing Line went three quarters of a length in front in mid-stretch and looked like he might have Dortmund beaten, but the determined Dortmund dug back in under Martin Garcia and re-rallied to win by a head. They were 21 lengths clear of Rock Shandy ( 3rd Selection) who finished up in third. In the Grade 2 San Marcos it was Finnegan’s Wake ( 2nd Selection) who kept his win streak going as he rallied late to catch a loose on the lead Diamond Bachelor. Diamond Bachelor opened up eight lengths down the backstretch and snuck away at the top of the stretch by three or four lengths. As they straightened away though, Finnegan’s Wake and Victor Espinoza started gaining ground and were able to get up in the final fifty yards to win by a length. Diamond Bachelor held second but was disqualified from that spot and fourth behind Power Foot ( Longshot) for interference inside the sixteenth pole.

Constitution all the way to win the Donn Handicap

Constitution turned in a very game performance on Saturday as he went wire to wire to win the Grade 1 $500,000 Donn Handicap. Sent off as the 5/2 second choice, Constitution ( Top Selection) and Javier Castellano went right to the front early on with mild pressure from barn mate Commissioner. Constitution was never able to shake away on the turn as Lea ( 2nd Selection) loomed just in behind him and awaited room. Constitution did kick clear and Lea finally shook loose, but Constitution had plenty left in the tank and held on to win by three quarters of a length. Lea was second with Elnaawi finishing up in third.

Javier Castellano actually won both Grade 1’s on Saturday as he also guided Mshawish ( Top Selection) to a win in the Gulfstream Park Turf. Sent off as the 7/5 favorite, Mshawish was third early on and had to wait for room at the quarter pole. Once Castellano found his way through Mshawish exploded and got up in the last jump to win by a nose over a very valiant Slumber who finished up in second. In the Grade 3 Fred Hooper it was Valid ( 2nd Selection) who bested long shot Grande Shores ( 3rd Selection) and race favorite Race Day ( Top Selection) by a neck to get the win. The Trifecta paid $344 for a dollar. In the Suwannee River it was Sandiva ( 2nd Selection) who scored with ease over Rosalind and Scampering. 

Far From Over overcomes brutal start to win the Withers Stakes

Far From Over looked to be toast after having a bad stumble at the start and spotting the leaders a bunch of lengths in the $250,000 Grade 3 Withers Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct. But he and jockey Manuel Franco never panicked and flew down the lane to win the event by almost two lengths. Classy Class ( 3rd Selection) went to the lead early and received pressure from the heavy favorite El Kabeir ( Top Selection). El Kabeir and Classy Class battled all the way to mid-stretch, but they were both overhauled late by Far From Over ( Longshot) who rallied by at 6/1 to get the win. El Kabeir was second and Classy Class finished in third.

In the Grade 3 Toboggan Handicap it was Salutos Amigos ( Top Selection) who absolutely flew in the final furlong to catch Dads Caps ( 3rd Selection) to get the win.

Leave a Reply