Shared Belief once again dominant, wins the Big Cap
Shared Belief added to his legend on Saturday afternoon as he won his 10th race from 11 starts, blowing his rivals away by nearly five lengths as he won the $1,000,000 Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Sent off as the prohibitive 1/5 favorite, Shared Belief (BetPTC.com Top Selection) sat about three lengths off the pace early on in sixth. Moreno went out and set the fractions and was coasting along down the backstretch with mild pressure from Sr. Quisqueyano and Catch a Flight. Moreno tried to make a break for home as they went into the far turn and put a length and a half on the field, but Shared Belief and Mike Smith came with a determined four wide move and swept to the lead as they turned for home. Once they straightened away, Shared Belief immediately opened up and was geared down in the final sixteenth to win by four and one quarter lengths. Moreno battled on bravely and held second over Catch a Flight (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who finished up in third.
Ring Weekend (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) scored a bit of an upset as he gave jockey Drayden Van Dyke his first Grade 1 win by taking home top honors in the Frank Kilroe Mile. Sent off at odds of 7/1, Ring Weekend was at the back of the pack early on as Dimension and Holy Lute traded punches through a solid opening half mile of 45.41 seconds. Summer Front (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) came roaring after the leaders and took command into the stretch, but that lead was short lived as Ring Weekend flew down the very center of the course, getting up to beat Summer Front by a length. Wild Dude took home took home top honors in the San Carlos Stakes as he and Rafael Bejarano sat just off the pace and took command into the lane. They had to hold off Kobe’s Back who made a big run from the back to get up for second while the odd’s on choice Conquest Two Step (BetPTC.com Top Selection) could only manage third. In the San Felipe Stakes it was the might Dortmund (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who went gate to wire, holding off a very tough Prospect Park who finished up in second. Dortmund ran his record to 5 for 5 and has cemented himself as a top candidate for the Kentucky Derby.
Carpe Diem seizes the win in the Tampa Bay Derby
Carpe Diem was making his first start of 2015 and made it look easy as he jogged to a five length win in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby. Sent off as the even money favorite, Carpe Diem (BetPTC.com Top Selection) fourth early on and steadily advanced up the inside under John Velasquez down the backside. They swung out three wide and came after Divining Rod (BetPTC.com Longshot) who was on the lead the whole way, but Divining Rod was no match for Carpe Diem who started to pull away down the lane, opening up to win by five at the wire. Ami’s Flatter rallied to get up for second while Divining Rod held on for third.
In the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes it was Stephanie’s Kitten (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who called on all her class to win her first start of the year. She sat mid-pack early and utilized a rail skimming trip from jockey John Velazquez to win the Hillsborough going away by a length and a half over Ball Dancing who finished in second. Quality Rocks (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was able to turn the tables on her rival Consumer Credit (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) as she won the Florida Oaks. Quality Rocks had been second behind Consumer Credit last time out at Gulfstream, but this time Quality Rocks got first run on Consumer Credit and held on to win by three quarters of a length.
El Kabeir back on top and wins the Gotham
El Kabeir quieted his doubters on Saturday as he and CC Lopez made a wide and sweeping move to win the $400,000 Gotham Stakes on Saturday at Aqueduct. Sent off as the 6/5 favorite, El Kabeir was coming off a second place finish and found himself ninth early on in this race. Lopez steadily advanced his charge and they came with a huge move at the quarter pole, grabbing the lead and pulling clear to win by almost three lengths. Tiz Shea D finished up in second with Classy Class rounding out the trifecta. In the Tom Fool Handicap it was Salutos Amigos (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who sat just off the pace set by Dads Caps (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and pounced on that rival turning for home and drew off to win by four lengths. Dads Caps held second over Green Gratto who finished up in third.
Honor Code last to first to win the Gulfstream Park Handicap
Honor Code got off to a terrible start, but had a great finish as he rallied from last to first to win the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap. Sent off at odds of 5/2, Honor Code was fifteen lengths off the lead as they went into the turn in the one mile event as Private Zone set the pace as expected. Private Zone (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) came into the stretch with the lead but couldn’t hold off the furious rally of Honor Code who got up to win by half a length. Private Zone held second while Valid (BetPTC.com Longshot) ran on for third.
In the Palm Beach Stakes it was Eh Cumpari (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who rallied from dead last to pick up the win at odds of 6/1. Ready for Rye pulled off the 6/1 upset in the Swale Stakes as they bested 3/5 shot Daredevil who was making his first start since the Breeders’ Cup Day. Daredevil did run second ahead of Senor Grits who was third.