We Miss Artie gets up to win the Spiral Stakes
We Miss Artie needed every inch of the mile and one eighth Saturday in the $550,000 Spiral Stakes as he got up in the last jump to get the win. Sent off as the 7/2 second choice in the full field of twelve, We Miss Artie and John Velazquez were seventh early on as Solitary Ranger and Almost Famous went out and set a strong pace, getting an opening quarter in 22.78 seconds. They slowed it down on the backstretch and Harry’s Holiday (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) came up to join the leaders up on the front end as they hit a half mile in a more moderate 47.21 seconds. Harry’s Holiday took the lead going into the far turn and tried to edge away but he was immediately joined by Coastline at the top of the stretch. Those two battled all the way down the lane while We Miss Artie was just in behind them and looked beat with a sixteenth to go. But We Miss Artie made one last final surge and jumped up at the wire to win it by a nose over Harry’s Holiday. Coastline was just another head back in third.
In the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks it was Aurelia’s Belle who rallied from mid-pack to get up and win the $125,000 event. Stormy Novel and Sloane Square both went out to battle in the early going through honest fractions. Channing Hill got Aurelia’s Belle to split runners at the top of the lane and she took over in mid-stretch, pulling away to win by two and a quarter from Sloane Square who just kept on fighting to hold second ahead of Katie’s Eyes who ran third at 18/1.
Chitu wins the Sunland Derby
Chitu hard to out-battle his stablemate Midnight Hawk to take home the top prize in the $800,000 Sunland Derby at Sunland Park. Sent off as the 9/5 favorite, Chitu (BetPTC.com Top Selection) sat just off the early lead of Garen who went to the front and went and opening quarter in 23.24 seconds and a half mile in 46.46. Martin Garcia started to nudge Chitu up to the leader as they ran to the far turn and Midnight Hawk (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) came up three wide to make a line of three as they passed the three eighths pole. Midnight Hawk looked to be traveling the better of the two at the quarter pole and went to a short lead, but Chitu battled back and dug in and eventually drew away to win by just over two lengths over Midnight Hawk. Commissioner (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) ran on to get third.
In the Sunland Oaks it was trainer Bob Baffert striking again as he sent out Awesome Baby to a powerful win. It was the fourth straight time Baffert has taken home the Sunland Oaks and Awesome Baby (BetPTC.com Top Selection) did it in wire to wire form. Sent off as the heavy 1/2 favorite, Awesome Baby was able to cruise up front under jockey Mike Smith with no real pressure throughout the race. Lucky For You (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) rallied up into second but Awesome Baby had much more in the tank and won off by almost five lengths in the end. Lucky For You was second while Empress of Midway was third.
Heart Stealer scores a minor upset in the Inside Information
Heart Stealer sat a garden trip in third early on and pounced on her rivals to take home the $200,000 Inside Information Stakes. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Heart Stealer was third early as Five Star Momma (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out to set the pace with Wildcat Lilly in second. Favored Centrique had a terrible start and was off last and had to make a mid-race move to get into contention. But Heart Stealer pounced on the leaders at the top of the lane and gradually edged away to win by two lengths over My Pal Chrisy (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who was second, ahead of Five Star Momma who faded to finish third.
Fire With Fire goes wire to wire in the San Luis Rey
Fire with Fire went right to the front and never looked back in a patented Tyler Baze style with an upset win in the $200,000 San Luis Rey. Sent off at odds of 10/1, Fire with Fire went to the lead and set a very moderate tempo for the mile and one half marathon while Lucayan (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sat in second with Temeraine (BetPTC.com Top Selection) watching them both from third. Race favorite Vagabond Shoes was pulled up as the field went down the backstretch and Fire with Fire just kept on going. Fire with Fire managed to hold Lucayan at bay the entire duration of the stretch, winning by half a length in the end over Lucayan. Temeraine was third.
The Pasadena Stakes it was Enterprising (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who had to overcome some trouble to get up for a win. Enterprising was mid-pack throughout the race but had to steady sharply as the field ran on the far turn. Jockey Gary Stevens though weaved his horse through traffic and they exploded late to get up and win by a nose over Quotient. Home Run Kitten (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) finished up in third.