Weekend Recap 6/8

Tonalist spoils California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid 

California Chrome was on the verge of history at the top of the lane in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes, but it was Tonalist who upset his bid to take home the prestigious third jewel of the Triple Crown.  Sent off at odds of 9/1, Tonalist broke well from his far outside draw and was able to secure a good stalking spot in third early on behind pacesetters Commissioner and General A Rod who set a very moderate pace, getting through a half mile in 48.52 seconds and three quarters in 1:12.84.  California Chrome was fourth early on down on the inside and jockey Victor Espinoza slowly guided him to the outside as they made their way to the far turn at Belmont Park.  Tonalist came after the lead as they reached the top of the lane and California Chrome was poised four wide right to his outside, but Chrome ran out of steam in mid-stretch and Tonalist had more in the tank and ended up battling with Commissioner down to the wire, prevailing by a head.  Commissioner was second while Medal Count closed down on the inside to run third, ahead of California Chrome and Wicked Strong who dead-heated for fourth.

Palace Malice was one of the headliners on the undercard and he lived up to his billing as maybe the top horse in training in the US as he won the Met Mile over a very game Goldencents. Real Solution also took home a grade 1 victory on Saturday by scoring from off the pace in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes.  Kaigun grabbed the lead in mid-stretch but was unable to hold off the late charge from Real Solution who got up for the score.  Close Hatches won one of the more exciting races on the program when she held off a late charging Princess of Sylmar to win the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps.  Close Hatches stayed back off the pace but got to the lead at the top of the lane and held Princess of Sylmar at bay to win by a hard fought head.  Sweet Reason closed from eleventh early on to take home the Grade 1 Acorn, besting a field of thirteen runners in the one mile event.  Bayern turned in a magnificent performance in the Woody Stephens, drawing off to win by seven and one half emphatic lengths.

Can The Man takes home the Affirmed Stakes

Can The Man had to overcome a bobble at the start, but had plenty left the rest of the mile and one sixteenth journey to win the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes by a length and a quarter.  Sent off as the 9/5 favorite, Can the Man ( 2nd Selection) quickly rushed up after bobbling early and took over the early lead as they ran to the backstretch.  Jockey Martin Garcia opened up with Can The Man as they came into the stretch while Friendswith K Mill ( Top Selection) came bursting out of the pack to try and make a race of it, but Can The Man held him at bay, winning by a length and a quarter.  Friendswith K Mill finished up in second while Forever Juanito got up to run third.

Honey Hues upsets the Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill

Honey Hues was dismissed by much of the wagering public in the $100,000 Mint Julep Handicap, but she proved her detractors wrong as she sprung a 13/1 upset.  Honey Hues was beautifully positioned early on by Jesus Castanon in second as long shot Maid on a Mission went out to set the pace.  Honey Hues took over the lead as they turned into the stretch and opened up a length and a half on the field.  However I’m Already Sexy ( 2nd Selection) came bursting out of the pack to make a race out of it.  But Honey Hues held on to win by 3/4 of a length over I’m Already Sexy with Maid on a Mission holding third at 27/1.

On Rainbow Bridge holds on to win the Lady Angela at Woodbine

On Rainbow Bridge opened up in mid-stretch and held off a furious late rally from Sweater Weather to win the $125,000 Lady Angela Stakes.  Sent off at 3/1, On Rainbow Bridge was sixth early on and stayed glued to the rail under jockey Skye Chernetz.  Race favorite She Ain’t Bad ( Top Selection) went out to set the pace in the seven furlong event, getting through an opening quarter in 23.15 and a solid half in 46.17.  On Rainbow Bridge burst through down on the rail at the top of the lane to get the lead and opened up two in mid-stretch.  Sweater Weather ( 3rd Selection) came roaring from out of the pack and just came up a nose short as On Rainbow Bridge held on for the win.


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