Weekend Stakes Recap 2/16

Twilight Eclipse takes home the Mac Diarmida

Twilight Eclipse received most of the wagering dollars in the Grade 2 $200,000 Mac Diarmida on Saturday at Gulfstream Park.  And he lived up to his backing as he won the event by a length after a mile and three eighths journey.  Sent off at odds of 7/5, Twilight Eclipse ( 2nd Selection) sat a good trip just in behind Alpha who went out and opened up a four length lead early on in his first try on the grass.  Alpha kept that lead going into the final of three turns but he was quickly pounced upon by Twilight Eclipse and Amen Kitten ( 3rd Selection) who both came up to take over the top two spots.  Those two battled the entire way down the stretch but Twilight Eclipse and Jose Lezcano prevailed by a length over Amen Kitten.  Slumber ( Top Selection) finished up in third with Suntracer ( Longshot) running in the fourth position.

Inimitable Romanee wasn’t given much of a chance by the bettors at 10/1 but she got the job done in winning the $100,000 Very One Stakes.  Inimitable Romanee sat just off the early speed which was doled out by Viva Rafaela ( 3rd Selection) who went a modest pace in the eleven furlong marathon.  Aigue Marine ( Top Selection) stayed just inside of Inimitable Romanee as they both started to progress, with Aigue Marine electing to go inside while Inimitable Romanee went outside.  Inimitable Romanee had a clear trip and burst to the lead while Aigue Marine had some traffic trouble before finally getting out.  But it was too late as Inimitable Romanee held on to win by a length over Aigue Marine who was second.  Viva Rafaela held on for third.

Tamarando up in time to win the El Camino Real Derby

Northern California racing had one of it’s biggest races on Saturday and it was Tamarando and Russell Baze who closed late in the mile and one eighth El Camino Real Derby to get the win.  Sent off as the 2/1 second choice in the field of eight, Tamarando ( 2nd Selection) set up at the back of the pack early on as 30/1 shot I’ll Wrap It Up went out to the front.  Enterprising ( 3rd Selection) and Dance With Fate both came after the longshot leader at the quarter pole and Dance With Fate and Aaron Gryder took off down the lane to grab the lead.  Tamarando came with a five wide bid and with Russell Baze imploring all he could from his runner, they got up to win by a half a length over Dance With Fate.  Enterprising finished up in third.  Tamarando’s connections indicated after the race they’d be sending him to Turfway Park for the Grade 2 Spiral Stakes for his next start.

Iotapa goes all the way in the Santa Maria Stakes 

Iotapa and Joe Talamo went to the front and never looked back as they went wire to wire to win the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday afternoon.  Sent off at odds of 2/1, Iotapa and Talamo got to set pretty moderate fractions for the mile and one sixteenth event, getting through a half mile in 47.75 seconds, which for Santa Anita isn’t very taxing.  Iotapa arrived at the quarter pole with a length lead as Let Faith Arise ( Top Selection) and Stanwyck ( 2nd Selection) both started to roll down the outside.  But Iotapa had plenty left and rebroke at the eighth pole to open up and win by a length and three quarters.  Let Faith Arise finished up in second with Stanwyck getting third.

In the Sweet Leaf Stakes it was On the Backstreets ( Top Selection) and Rafael Bejarano who stalked Sprague River early and took command in the stretch to win with ease by two and one quarter lengths.  On The Backstreets was second early on and always looked a winner.  Famous Alice ( 2nd Selections) was far back early and rallied down the center of the track to get up for second while Smoove It ran third.

On Sunday it was Kobe’s Back who turned in a solid late closing effort to get up and win the San Vicente Stakes.  The Grade 2 event for 3 year olds didn’t offer Derby Points, but trainer John Sadler said he’ll be going to a points race next time out as he closed from sixth and last to get up and win by just over five lengths.  Cherubim got up for the second spot while Rprettyboyfloyd ran third.

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