California Chrome dominates the Santa Anita Derby
California Chrome stamped himself as one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby as he dominated the $1,000,000 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. Sent off as the 3/5 favorite in the field of eight, California Chrome (BetPTC.com Top Selection) broke a little bit tardy under jockey Victor Espinoza but quickly gathered up his momentum and got himself up to second early on as Dublin Up went out to set the early pace, which was decent. California Chrome was right up on the hip of Dublin Up as they went into the turn with Candy Boy (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sitting in the third spot just behind the top two with Hoppertunity (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) waiting back in fourth down on the rail. California Chrome cruised to the front with no urging and as they straightened away, he burst away and drew off to win by five and one quarter lengths in the end. Hoppertunity battled on bravely and was three and a half lengths clear of Candy Boy who finished in third.
Nashoba’s Gold (BetPTC.com Top Selection) rallied from mid pack and held off a late closing Diversy Harbor (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) to win the Grade 3 Providencia. Nashoba’s Gold won the race at the top of the stretch when jockey Joe Talamo elected to go out into the clear. Diversy Harbor on the other hand stayed down towards the rail and had to wait for room and once she got clear, she burst on through, but was too late as she came up a length short. In the Santa Anita Oaks it was Fashion Plate (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who went to the front and never looked back as she held off a late charging Ria Antonia (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) to get the win by a length and a quarter. Fashion Plate had it easy up on the front end and Ria Antonia had to go wide, and both could be dangerous in the Kentucky Oaks if they go. In the Evening Jewel Stakes it was Rovenna who grabbed the lead early on and never looked back, winning by almost three lengths over Harlington’s Rose (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who was a clear second.
Room Service and Rosalind Dead-heat for win in the Ashland
Room Service had to come and catch Rosalind late and they arrived at the wire at the exact same time in the $500,000 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on Saturday. Both runners were very far back early with Rosalind in tenth a half mile into the race and Room Service last of thirteen as Istanford went out and set a very fast pace over the polytrack, going a half mile in 45.90 seconds. As they came to the top of the stretch Rosalind came flying with a six wide move and burst to the lead in mid-stretch. Meanwhile Room Service and Shaun Bridgmohan came flying late and the two horses battled for the final 100 yards, well clear of their rivals. They arrived at the wire together and after looking at a photo, the judges ruled there would be no change.
In Friday’s opening day feature, the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes it was Medal Count who won the event that was washed off the grass and onto the main track. Medal Count utilized a brilliant ride by Robby Albarado, coming through down on the rail to get through and burst away to win by a length and a quarter. Picozza rallied from far back to get second, just ahead of Woodfield Springs (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who ran third.
Sugar Shock goes all the way in The Fantasy at Oaklawn
Sugar Shock and Channing Hill went right to the front and never looked back as she won a hard fought edition of the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes. Sent off as the 3/1 second choice, Sugar Shock (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was able to get to the lead and received pressure from the opening bell from Kiss Moon (BetPTC.com Longshot) who was just a half length back after an opening quarter of 23.25 seconds. Kiss Moon stayed just behind Sugar Shock and as they came to the quarter pole, the lead for Sugar Shock was widdled down to just a neck. Sugar Shock had some gas left in the tank though and kept that lead the entire way down the lane, with Kiss Moon right there, but at the wire Sugar Shock was half a length in front of Kiss Moon.
Racing at Pimlico is underway; Embarr takes the Dahlia Stakes
Racing in Baltimore is underway as Pimlico opened up on Thursday afternoon. The opening week feature was the $100,000 Dahlia Stakes on Saturday and the race was scratched down to just a field of six. Villette went out to the front and the pace was very slow, going an opening quarter in 25.33 seconds and a half mile in 51.07 seconds. CC Gold grabbed the lead at the top of the lane but Forrest Boyce and Embarr came flying on the outside and grabbed the lead in mid-stretch. It looked as though Embarr was home free at the sixteenth pole, but CC Gold started to re-rally and it got close late, but Embarr found the wire with a head to spare. CC Gold was second and Zucchini Flower (BetPTC.com Top Selection) ran third.