Weekend Recap 3/16

Hoppertunity wins a bumpy running of the Rebel Stakes

Hoppertunity came with a wide move and won a hard fought edition of the $600,000 Rebel Stakes.  Sent off at odds of 6/1, Hoppertunity ( Longshot) was able to sit in a good spot early on, third just behind the speedy Strong Mandate ( 2nd Selection) and Ride on Curlin as those two set the early pace which was quite moderate.  The two leaders came to the top of the stretch pretty much as one, with Tapiture ( Top Selection) coming up from just in behind them.  Hoppertunity started his four wide move and the four of them lined up at the furlong pole.  Tapiture and Ride on Curlin bumped together and Hoppertunity came in a little bit on Tapiture, but in the final yards, it was Hoppertunity and Mike Smith who got up to win by half a length.  Tapiture finished up in second with Ride on Curlin in third.  After a long inquiry, the stewards made no change to the order of finish.

Golden Lad sat just off the pace and took command down the lane to pull away and win the Razorback Handicap in impressive fashion.  Sent off at odds of 5/1, Golden Lad ( Long Shot) was just off the pace set by Right To Vote early on.  Golden Lad and Jose Lezcano took command into the stretch and pulled away from Taptowne ( Top Selection) and Majestic City who rallied up into the exotics, with Majestic City just nosing out Taptowne for second.  Close Hatches ( Top Selection) wasn’t nearly as dramatic as the other two big races as the big favorite coasted to a strong wire to wire win in the Azeri Stakes.  It was Close Hatches first start since her runner up effort in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and she always looked comfortable in her win over Magic Union.

Let Faith Arise wins her first Grade 1 by taking the Santa Margarita

Let Faith Arise not only won her first graded stakes on Saturday when she won the Santa Margarita Stakes, she did it in grand style taking home the Grade 1 prize.  Sent off at odds of 4/1, Let Faith Arise ( 2nd Selection) was right up on the early pace, doing battle with Fiftyshadesofhay ( 3rd Selection) through an opening half mile in a moderate 47.55 seconds.  Let Faith Arise started to edge away into the stretch but was immediately tackled by Iotapa ( Top Selection) who came right to the throat of Let Faith Arise, but Let Faith Arise and Corey Nakatani had plenty left in the tank and started to pull away, winning by almost two lengths in the end over Iotapa.  Stanwyck ( Longshot) got up for third.

In the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes it was Tribal Spy ( Longshot) and Irving Orosco who went to the lead and never looked back going down the hill as they won by a length.  Ciao Bella Luna ( 2nd Selection) was last early on and rallied to get up to run second, a head ahead of Dancingtothestars.

Centre Court rebounds and takes the Honey Fox

Centre Court is a world class turf runner on her best day, but after a few sub-par efforts, Centre Court is back with a win in the Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes.  Sent off as 3/1 second choice, Centre Court stayed far back in the early going as Effie Trinket went out to set the early pace with pressure from long shot Triple Arch.  Centre Court came with a wide and hopeful bid under jockey Julien Leparoux as they came into the stretch, but it was Kitten’s Point ( 3rd Selection) who came with a roaring move late.  Centre Court grabbed the lead just inside the eighth pole and gutted it out in the final yards to hold off Kitten’s Point by a nose margin.  Kitten’s Point was second and was a length and a half clear of Effie Trinket who ran third.

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