The Pizza Man takes home the Arlington Million crown
The Pizza Man won a hard fought battle with Big Blue Kitten down the lane to win the Grade 1 Arlington Milliion on Saturday. Sent off at odds of 5/1, The Pizza Man settled ninth early on as Shining Copper went out to the early lead. Shining Copper stretched that lead out to four lengths as they ran around the final turn in the 10 furlong event, but the closers started to kick as they came into the lane. Big Blue Kitten (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and The Pizza Man went to the front at the eighth pole and The Pizza Man and Florent Geroux dug in and prevailed by a neck over Big Blue Kitten. Shining Copper was able to hold on to third.
Secret Gesture finished first in the Beverly D. Stakes but was disqualified for drifting late in the stretch. Race favorite Euro Charlene (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went to the front and opened up a good size lead down the backstretch. Secret Gesture (BetPTC.com Top Selection) stalked from second and jockey Jamie Spencer made his move with her at the top of the lane. But once Secret Gesture got to the lead she drifted severely and impacted Stephanie’s Kitten who was rolling from the back. Meanwhile Watsdachances (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) got up for second and was placed first after the disqualification.
Highland Reel (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) went gate to wire to win the Secretariat Stakes, scoring with remarkable ease by over five lengths. He went to the front and never faced any threats, and won over Closing Bell who finished up in second ahead of favorite Force The Pass (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who finished third. In the American St. Leger Stakes at a mile and a half it was Lucky Speed who turned in a nice late kick to get up and score by a half length over Panama Hat.
Grand Arch wins thrilling edition of the Fourstardave
There was less than a length separating the top four at the wire in the $500,000 Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga on Saturday, but it was Grand Arch who had his nose down first and got the win. Sent off at odds of 8/1, Grand Arch was third early on as King Kreesa expectedly went out to the lead. Grand Arch and Luis Saez slowly got closer on the turn and when they came to the top of the lane they exploded to the lead. Ironicus meanwhile came with a big 6 wide rally at the top of the lane and took a big run at Grand Arch, but Grand Arch was able to hold and win by a neck. Ironicus was second and Seek Again (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) finished in third.
In the Adirondack Stakes it was Just Wicked who battled it out with race favorite Tonasah and got the win. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Just Wicked was second early on as Tonosah (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) set the pace. Those two kicked away from the rest of the pack at the top of the lane but Just Wicked wore down Tonosah and got the win by a length and a quarter.
Sharla Rae wins the Del Mar Oaks
Sharla Rae scored a hard fought Grade 1 win on Saturday as she took home top honors in the Del Mark Oaks. Sent off at odds of 6/1, Sharla Rae and James Graham were close up early on as long shot Paulina’s Love doled out the fractions. Paulina’s Love was all out of gas at the top of the lane and Her Emmynency (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) took over command in mid-stretch. Her Emmynency reached for the wire, but Sharla Rae had already begun her rally and she got the lead in the final yards to win by three quarters of a length. Her Emmynency was second with Prize Exhibit (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) finishing up in third.
Stryker PhD scores his second straight Longacres Mile
Stryker PhD became the first horse at Emerald Downs to win two consecutive Longacres Miles as he flew from off the pace to get the win in the Grade 3 event. Sent off at odds of 6/5, Styker PhD (BetPTC.com Top Selection) and Leslie Mawing stayed towards the back while Modern went out and set the pace, which was sharp. Modern folded the tent at the quarter pole as Alert Bay took over the lead, but Stryker PhD made up a ton of ground on the turn and then drew away down the lane, holding off a late flying Sammy Mandeville to get the win. Alert Bay finished in third.