Nikki’s Sandcastle rolls home late to win the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland
Nikki’s Sandcastle and Leandro Goncalves sprung a nice upset in the $200,000 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland on closing day. Sent off at juicy odds of 11/1, Nikki’s Sandcastle set up shop back in seventh early on as Set The Sail (BetPTC.com Longshot) went out to set the early fractions in the nine furlong event. The field bunched up turning for home and it was Winning Cause who ended up grabbing the lead in mid-stretch. But Nikki’s Sandcastle came roaring down the center of the track and blew by Winning Cause late, pulling clear to win by a length and a quarter. Winning Cause finished second with You Know I Know and Eddie Castro rounding out the trifecta.
With Keeneland closing up on Saturday, it was Churchill taking up the racing in Kentucky on Sunday as they opened with the Stars of Tomorrow program of all two year old races. Coastline took home the Street Sense Stakes as a 4/1 price in a small field while Clever Beauty scored at 5/1 to take the Rags to Riches.
Joshua Tree once again wins the Canadian International
Joshua Tree may as well just take up residence at Woodbine because it seems like every year he’s winning the $1,000,000 Pattison Canadian International. Joshua Tree won the race in 2010, finished second in 2011 and came back to win it in 2012. In 2013 he was 6/1 in the wagering as many fans decided to lean towards Slumber who was hammered down to 8/5. Joshua Tree sat back just off the pace early on under Ryan Moore as Stormy Len went off to set the early pace, which was reasonable over the yielding turf course. Joshua Tree went back to third for a while on the final turn as Slumber made an early move, but once they straightened away, Joshua Tree kicked on and opened up three in mid-stretch. Hyper and Seismos came out of the pack to chase Joshua Tree home, but the wire came up in time as he held on to win by three quarters of a length. Hyper (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) finished in second with Seismos (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) rounding out the tri.
Tannery (BetPTC.com Top Selection) closed from dead last in the $500,000 EP Taylor Stakes to get up and win by a hard fought head. Tannery was tenth early on as No Explaining and Colonial Flag went out to battle in the early going through pedestrian fractions. Joel Rosario got Tannery going coming towards the top of the stretch and by mid-stretch they had blown by their rivals. Fitful Skies came from out of the pack though and these two battled down the lane, with Tannery prevailing by a head.
Rise Up rises up to win the Jean Lafitte at Delta
Rise Up looks like he might have a future and he’s surely going to be a contender for the $1,000,000 Delta Jackpot as he dominated the $200,000 Jean Lafitte at Delta on Saturday night. Sent off at odds of 3/1, Rise Up (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) sat back in the second flight as favored Burning Warrior (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out and set a brutally fast pace, ripping through a quarter in 22.31 and a half mile in 45.50. Burning Warrior was totally out of gas as the field went to the final turn and Rise Up and Mighty Brown went off to do battle down the stretch. But the battle was pretty short as Rise Up and Gerard Melancon drew off to win by four lengths. Mighty Brown finished up in second while Flat Gone ran third.
Wishing Gate takes the Autumn Miss at Santa Anita
Wishing Gate got some class relief on Saturday and she rewarded her connections and her backers as she took home the $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes at Santa Anita. Sent off as the 7/5 favorite, Wishing Gate (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Gary Stevens were in seventh early on as long shot Journey On went out to set the early pace. Journey On was confronted on the far turn by Need You Now, but Journey On dug in and briefly took the lead back once again. But Wishing Gate had already gotten underway and she blew past her rivals down the stretch to score by a length and a quarter. Journey On finished second with Charlie Em rounding out the trifecta.