Honor Code from last to first to win the Whitney
Honor Code needed every inch of the nine furlongs in Saturday’s Grade 1 $1,250,000 Whitney Stakes to get the win as he caught Liam’s Map in the last jump. Sent off at odds of 7/2, Honor Code settled at the back of the pack as Liam’s Map (BetPTC.com Longshot) went out to set the early pace which was very solid, getting through a half mile in 46.00 seconds. Liam’s Map opened up as they came to the top of the stretch and was nearly five in front with a furlong to go. Meanwhile Honor Code and Javier Castellano had begun their rally from the back and they flew in the final yards, getting up to catch Liam’s Map in the final yards to win by a neck. Liam’s Map was a length and a half clear of Tonalist (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who rallied from seventh early on to finish in third.
In the Grade 1 Test Stakes it was Cavorting who also turned in an eye-catching rally to win the $500,000 race. Cavorting was ninth early on as Take Charge Brandi went right to the front. Long shot Bar of Gold (BetPTC.com Longshot) took over the lead from Take Charge Brandi turning for home and kicked a length in a half in front. But she couldn’t hold off the flying Cavorting who blew by late to get the win. By The Moon (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and Irish Jasper (BetPTC.com Top Selection) finished 3rd and 4th to complete a $2,993 superfecta. Under Control (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) took home the top honors in the Lure Stakes as he rallied to catch the loose on the lead favorite Reload and got the win. Under Control and Charming Kitten (BetPTC.com Top Selection) both collared Reload at the eighth pole and went on by, but it was Under Control who had the most momentum late and won by a length and a half.
In the De La Rose Stakes it was Recepta (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who got the nod. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Recepta was mid-pack early on as Miss Frost doled out very honest fractions. Recepta and John Velazquez flew down the center of the course down the lane and drew off to win by two and a quarter lengths over Tuttipaesi and A Little Bit Sassy who ran second and third. Golden Espony turned in a beautiful wire to wire run in the Waya Stakes, cruising home the easiest of winners by over three lengths to Eastern Belle who flew late to get second.
Elekrtum holds off Queen of the Sand to win the John C. Mabee Stakes
Elektrum won a thrilling edition of the Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes on Saturday, holding off a slew of talented runners down the lane to win. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Elektrum (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was placed fourth early on as race favorite Fanticola (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out to set the pace. Fanticola brought that lead to the top of the lane, but was quickly pounced on by a host of challengers. Emotional Kitten and Elektrum came first and those two went on with it as Queen of the Sand (BetPTC.com Top Selection) started to fly from the back. Elektrum found the wire in time though and held off Queen of the Sand by a head. It was just another neck back to Emotional Kitten who ran third and another neck to Fanticola who finished fourth.
Nyquist (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) turned in a very memorable performance as he crushed his rivals in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes for two year olds. Sent off as the even money favorite, Nyquist blew past Found Money (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) at the top of the lane and never looked back, opening up to win by five and one quarter lengths. Swipe got up for second with Annie’s Candy (BetPTC.com Top Selection) finishing in third.
Pinkman takes home the Hambletonian Crown
Pinkman and Brian Sears took home harness racing’s biggest honor on Saturday as they won the $1,000,000 Hambletonian at The Meadowlands. Sent off as the 9/5 second choice, Pinkman had won his elimination earlier in the card from the ten hole and in the Hambletonian Pinkman made the lead early and was chased by Jimmy Takter’s other runner Mission Brief. Those two battled down the lane but it was Pinkman who prevailed and got the win. Takter also took home training honors in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks as he sent out Wild Honey to the win. Yannick Gingras was in the bike for the winning drive and it was the second straight year Takter trained the winners of both the Hambletonian and Hambletonian Oaks.
The Pickett Factor takes home top honors in the Super Derby Prelude
The Pickett Factor (BetPTC.com Top Selection) continued his big summer at Louisiana Downs as he took home the top honors in the $100,000 Super Derby Prelude. Sent off as the 5/2 second choice, The Pickett Factor was put into a beautiful spot in third early on by Donnie Meche behind a pair of long shot pacemakers. Meche made his move on the far turn and The Pickett Factor opened up down the lane, cruising home to a length and a quarter win over race favorite Allied Air Raid (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who finished in second, just a head in front of Mobile Bay (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who ran third.