Weekend Stakes Recap 9/28

Shared Belief wins hard fought Awesome Again Stakes

For maybe the first time in his young career, Shared Belief had to really dig down to pick up a win, this time in the Grade 1 $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes. Sent off as the 1/5 favorite, Shared Belief ( Top Selection) had a very eventful trip in the Awesome Again. He and jockey Mike Smith were forced to go wide on the first turn as long shot Sky Kingdom came inside of them and held them on the outside. Meanwhile Fed Biz ( 2nd Selection) and Mystery Train battled on the front end through a half in 46.52 seconds. Shared Belief was five wide as they ran onto the final turn and when they straightened away into the stretch, he and Fed Biz battled the entire way down the lane with Shared Belief putting his head in front in the final strides to win by a neck. Fed Biz was second and it was two lengths back to Footbridge in third.

Angela Renee ( Top Selection) sat a good trip and was very impressive in winning the Grade 1 Chandelier by almost two lengths. Angela Renee sat just off the leaders early and took command into the stretch and held off a flying Conquest Eclipse ( 2nd Selection) who closed from ninth to get up and run second. Emollient ( 3rd Selection) made a bit three wide move at the quarter pole and held off a stubborn Parranda to get the win in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes.

American Pharoah ( Top Selection) turned in a very impressive performance in the Frontrunner and stamped himself as a probable favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. American Pharoah went right to the front under jockey Victor Espinoza and never looked back as they fended off a couple challengers turning for home and won with ease by three and one quarter lengths over Calculator and Texas Red who ran second and third. Beholder ( Top Selection) was able to hold off a late rally from Tiz Midnight ( 3rd Selection) to win the Zenyatta Stakes by three quarters of a length.

Tonalist rallies to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Tonalist closed from second last early to get up and take the winner’s share of the $1,000,000 purse in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. Sent off as the 3/1 favorite, Tonalist ( Top Selection) stayed far back as Moreno and Big Cassanova both went out to set the pace, which was pretty moderate early on. As the field ran into the second turn, Moreno cut off Wicked Strong and forced jockey Rajiv Maragh to come off Wicked Strong. The loose horse and the spill caused some distress for riders in the back including Joel Rosario who had to check with Tonalist. But Rosario got Tonalist going once again and as they came into the stretch, they split runners decisively and pulled clear to win by a length and three quarters over Zivo and Long River who finished second and third. Moreno finished fourth but was disqualified due to coming over on Wicked Strong.

Main Sequence ( Top Selection) turned in a big performance as he closed late to win a thrilling edition of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic. Imagining ( Top Selection) went out to the early lead and was able to waltz through relatively easy fractions. Imagining kept that lead all the way to mid-stretch when he was reeled in late by Main Sequence and Twilight Eclipse who ran 1-2. Private Zone went nearly wire to wire to take home the Vosburgh as he held off a very tough Dads Caps ( Longshot) who just missed by a neck at odds of 15/1. Favored Palace ( Top Selection) rallied from fifth to get up for third, a length and a half behind Private Zone who won.

Stephanie’s Kitten ( 2nd Selection) finally got back into the winner’s circle as she and John Velazquez sat a good trip early on and powered by late to pull away and win by a length and a quarter. Abaco ( 2nd Selection) was able to rally from fifth early on to get up for second, getting by front runner Viva Rafaela who finished third. Belle Gallantey ( 2nd Selection) went right to the front and never looked back as she turned the Beldame into a procession, winning by eight and one quarter lengths over favored Stopshoppingmaria ( Top Selection). In the Grade 2 Kelso it was Vyjack who scored an upset win, rallying from off the pace to catch River Rocks in the final sixteenth.

Tonito M. from off the pace to win the Oklahoma Derby

Tonito M. had to catch a loose on the lead long shot to get up and win the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby. Sent off at odds of 5/1, Tonito M. ( 3rd Selection) was sixth early on as Louis Flower and Wildcat Red ( Top Selection) went out to set the pace, getting through a half mile in a solid 47.49 seconds. Bay of Biscay, a 50/1 longshot was just in behind them and made a bold move after the lead on the far turn and opened up as they came into the lane. Meanwhile Tonito M. and Rafael Bejarano started their bid and finally got to Bay of Biscay in the final sixteenth and pulled away late to win by two and three quarter lengths.

In the Remington Oaks it was Shanon Nicole and Rosie Napravnik who put up a huge move at the top of the lane and blew away their competition to win by five and one quarter lengths. Mico Margarita won as the favorite over Heitai who had opened up a huge lead early on in the Remington Park Sprint Cup. Heitai was four clear turning for home and five clear at the eighth pole but coughed it up late to Mico Margarita.

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