Mr. Speaker takes the Coolmore Lexington Stakes
Mr. Speaker made his synthetic debut on Saturday in the Grade 3 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland, but he looked like an old pro as he drew off down the lane to win by four lengths. Sent off as the 2/1 favorite, Mr. Speaker (BetPTC.com Top Selection) stayed just off the pace early on which was set by Supermonic and Solitary Ranger (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) as those two traded punches on the front end. Solitary Ranger took command as the field turned into the stretch, but Mr. Speaker and Jose Lezcano started their rally on the outside and started to take over at the furlong pole before drawing away late. Divine Oath (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) rallied from the back half of the pack to burst up into the second spot with Supermonic finishing up in third.
Frac Daddy turned in a very strong performance in taking the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes for older runners. Frac Daddy and Alan Garcia stalked from second early on as Red Rifle (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went out to set the early pace, which was quite moderate, getting to the half mile in 49.68 seconds. Frac Daddy made his move at the three eighths pole and at the top of the stretch he took off, opening up at will and finishing in front nearly five lengths at the wire. Long shot Steel Case got up for second while Nikki’s Sandcastle finished up in the third spot. In the Giants Causeway Stakes it was Ageless (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who overcame her far outside draw to get up and win the $100,000 event. Sent off at odds of 8/1, Ageless was last as the field came to the top of the stretch but came roaring down the outside and got up just in time to catch Free As a Bird (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to complete a $122 exacta.
Imperative pulls off a shocker and wins the Charles Town Classic
Imperative was certainly not considered one of the main contenders in Saturday Night’s $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic. But turning for home, it was down to just him and race favorite Game on Dude, and Imperative had more left in the tank as he won by a length and a half. Sent off at odds of 26/1, Imperative and Kent Desormeaux stayed back in fifth early on as Moreno and Game on Dude (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went out and set a strong early pace in the 9 furlong event, getting an opening quarter in 23.47 seconds and a half mile in 46.85. Long River (BetPTC.com Top Selection) made a strong early bid after Game on Dude as they ran down the backstretch and the favorite had to dig in early, as he never got a break at any point in the race. Turning for home Game on Dude and Long River were joined by Imperative who came with his rally and Imperative just had more gas left in the tank and edged away to win by a length and a half. Game on Dude held on for second while Moreno re-rallied to get third.
In the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes it was Flattering Bea who held off a late charge from race favorite Quiet Success (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to hold on for a neck win. Flattering Bea went right to the front under Garry Cruise and never looked back as the wire came up just in time in the seven furlong event.
Dynamic Impact wins thrilling edition of the Illinois Derby
The Illinois Derby might not offer any Kentucky Derby points, but it did offer one of the more exciting stretch battles this spring. Favored Midnight Hawk (BetPTC.com Top Selection) looked like he might sneak away at the top of the stretch, but 9/1 shot Dynamic Impact kept bearing down on him and they arrived at the wire together, with Dynamic Impact getting up to win by a nose. Dynamic Impact was second early on in the race as Midnight Hawk went and set the early fractions which were pretty moderate. Midnight Hawk started to open up at the quarter pole and Dynamic Impact was a clear second as nobody else was running on from the back. Dynamic Impact and Miguel Mena were under an all out drive and just got up to win by a nose with Midnight Hawk having to settle for second. It was almost nine lengths back to Irish You Well who ran third.
In the Grade 3 Sixty Sails Handicap it was Flashy American (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who won a good stretch battle with Sonja’s Angel to get the win. Sonja’s Angel opened up a sizeable lead early on in the race and brought a two length lead to the top of the long Hawthorne stretch. Flashy American was third early on and started her move at the quarter pole and grabbed the lead just outside the furlong pole. But Sonja’s Angel battled on and Flashy American had to work every yard to get up and win by three quarters of a length.