Oxbow scores upset in the Preakness
Oxbow went right to the front and never looked back as he cruised all the way around the Pimlico oval to score in the $1,000,000 Preakness Stakes on Saturday. Sent off at odds of 15/1, Oxbow and Gary Stevens took over the lead from Goldencents who was first to jump out of the gate. Stevens was able to navigate a very respectable half mile time in 48.60 and went into the second turn with a very commanding lead over Goldencents who stalked from second. Orb (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was fifth early on and made a mid-backstretch move, but by the time the real running began, Orb was all out of horse and struggling on the turn. Meanwhile Oxbow spurted clear in mid-stretch and had to hold off rallies from It’smyluckyday and Mylute, both of whom rallied from far back, but couldn’t get to the winner, who cruised home a length and three quarters in front at the finish. It’smyluckyday finished up in second while Mylute ended up in third. Orb could only manage a fourth place finish. It was the sixth career Preakness Stakes win for trainer D. Wayne Lukas who trained the runner for Calumet Farm.
Stevens, Lukas and Calumet teamed up one race prior to the Preakness when they went wire to wire to win the $200,000 Dixie Stakes with Skyring. Skyring was sent off at odds of 24/1, and was able to hold off a hard charging Willcox Inn who ran second, just ahead of Optimizer (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran third. In the Maryland Sprint Handicap it was Sage Valley (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who ran away from the competition late to score a convincing victory in the $150,000 event.
Pianist went wire to wire to take home the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap over the Pimlico turf course. Sent off at odds of 6/1, Mike Smith and Pianist waltzed all the way around the oval, holding off Hard Not To Like (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and Appealing Cat (BetPTC.com Longshot) who ran second and third and completed a nice trifecta of $802. Summer Applause (BetPTC.com Top Selection) scored as the favorite in the DuPont Distaff, winning by two emphatic lengths under jockey John Velazquez. Sea Island (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) ran on for second, three clear of Brushed By a Star (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who finished in third. Redwood Kitten (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) won a spill marred edition of the James Murphy Turf Stakes while Zee Bros (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) scored a hard fought win over Bobcat Jim (BetPTC.com Top Selection) in the Chick Lang Stakes.
Fiftyshadesofhay wins the Black-Eyed Susan
Joel Rosario didn’t get the win he wanted this weekend, but he did guide Fiftyshadesofhay to a win in the Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes on Friday afternoon. Sent off as the 2/1 second choice, Fiftyshadesofhay (BetPTC.com Top Selection) got an immediate advantage when the speedy favorite Emollient broke poorly and had to sit fourth early on as Fiftyshadesofhay sat back in sixth. Maracuya and Toasting (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) went out instead to battle for the lead and only set moderate fractions. Fiftyshadesofhay finally shook loose late, and had to reel in long shot Marathon Lady, who had opened up a sizeable advantage in mid-stretch. Fiftyshadesofhay finally did get to her just in time, to win by a neck. Marathon Lady was second while Toasting finished in third.
The Pimlico Special saw Last Gunfighter (BetPTC.com Top Selection) get up in the final furlong to pass the early pacesetter Eighttofasttocatch (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and win the $300,000 event. Those two were nine lengths ahead of Richard’s Kid (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) who ran third. Emotional Kitten (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) scored a nice 5/1 win with the Hilltop Stakes, besting favored Summer of Fun and long shot Zenzara (BetPTC.com Top Selection).
Sensible Lady (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and Nechez Dawn (BetPTC.com Longshot) ran 1-2 in the turf sprint Very One Stakes. Ben’s Cat (BetPTC.com Top Selection) had to rally from far off the pace to catch upset-minded Spring To the Sky (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) to win the Jim McKay Turf Sprint. Favored I’m Mom’s Favorite (BetPTC.com Top Selection) won the Miss Preakness, just getting up over 52/1 bomber Flattering Bea to win by a nose. Favored Dance To Bristol (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) dominated the Skipat Stakes, winning by over four lengths under jockey Xavier Perez.
Open Water upsets the Everett Handicap
Open Water was able to hold off the big favorite Lady of Fifty (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to win the $150,000 Everett Handicap on Saturday at Hollywood Park. Sent of at odds of 9/1, Open Water and Joe Talamo stalked early on as Maker or Breaker and Sister Kate went out and went bonkers on the front end, setting fast fractions. Talamo brought Open Water up four wide into the stretch and she had to contend with Lady of Fifty who split runners down the lane, but couldn’t keep pace with Open Water who pulled clear to win by a length. Lady of Fifty was second while I Dazzle finished up in third.