Weekend Recap 9/8

Departing takes the Super Derby

Departing turned in another flashy performance on Saturday, as he dominated the $500,000 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.  Sent off as the 1/5 favorite, Departing (BetPTC.com Top Selection) sat just off the early pace which was moderately set by Ruler of Love (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who had the lead throughout the race.  Departing was finally given his cue at the three eighths pole and he never looked back, as he slowly edged away from Ruler of Love in the final furlong to win by four lengths.  Ruler of Love finished second, ahead of Cameo Appearance who ran third.

Major Marvel and String King (BetPTC.com Top Selection) hooked up in a memorable edition of the Unbridled Stakes, with Major Marvel prevailing by a neck after a stretch long battle.  Global Power (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) set a very moderate pace and looked like he could be dangerous out on the lead, but Major Marvel and String King both came after him going into the far turn and those two hooked up for the final quarter mile.  Gantry (BetPTC.com Top Selection) won as a much the best favorite in the Temperence Hill Stakes, pulling clear late to win by four and one half lengths.  Louisiana Glory (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) took a brief run at Gantry at the top of the lane, but the old veteran had plenty left in the tank and pulled clear late.

Thegirlinthatsong was last early on in the Happy Ticket, but she was first when they crossed the line as she held on to win by a neck over Bern Legacy (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection).  In fact, Bern Legacy was second to last early and Thegirlinthatsong was last as they watched Love Bullet and Elusive Cowgirl set a very quick pace.  They came five and six wide, but it was Thegirlinthatsong and Don Simington who prevailed by a neck.  Grandma’s Rules (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Queenie Vic were 1-2 the entire mile and one sixteenths of the River Cities Stakes, with Grandma’s Rules prevailing to win by two and a half.  Robby Albarado was on board for the win, as he was with Departing in the Super Derby.

Pants on Fire stays on fire, wins the Ack Ack 

Saturday Night at Churchill Downs, Pants on Fire proved he’s still got it, as he won his second race in a row, this time in the Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap.  The 121 pound highweight, Pants on Fire and Paco Lopez stayed just off the pace long shot Right To Vote went out and set the early tempo.  Taptowne (BetPTC.com Top Selection) made his move after the lead on the turn but was unable to hold off Pants on Fire who made his rally in the center of the course and eventually pulled clear to win by two and three quarter lengths.  Taptowne finished up in second with Good Morning Diva running third.  Flashy American (BetPTC.com Top Selection) lived up to his favorites billing as he blew past Wine Princess to win the Locust Grove Handicap.  Wine Princess made a decisive move after the lead at the top of the stretch, but Corey Lanerie and Flashy American had all the momentum and pulled clear late for a solid win.

Cleburne pulled off maybe the biggest upset of the night as he rallied from off the pace to win by a neck at odds of 34/1.  Cleburne and Corey Lanerie were towards the back of the pack early on while favorites Ride on Curlin (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Rise Up (BetPTC.com Top Selection) were part of a very solid pace early on.  Cleburne came rallying up the inside and passed Tapiture late who had the lead nearing the wire, but ended up finishing third as Smart Cover got up for the second spot.  Untapable (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) and Rosie Napravnik took home the Pocahontas Stakes, rallying from fourth early on to get up and get the score over favorite Stonetastic (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who ran second.

Mystical Star takes the Ladies Marathon at Kentucky Downs

Kentucky Downs short but great meet got underway on Saturday, and it was Mystical Star (BetPTC.com Top Selection) who had to grind it out to get up and win the $150,000 Ladies Marathon.  Sent of at odds of 7/2, Mystical Star and Brice Blanc were able to sit off the pace early, but when they straightened away for the long run up the hill to the wire, Preferential opened up a sizeable lead and appeared that she might sneak away.  But Mystical Star kept on trying and eventually got up to win by a neck.

Dancing To Town went right to the front and never looked back as she held sway to win the Ladies Turf Stakes.  Dancing To Town was 5/1 when they left the gate and Lily The Pink (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) looked like the only danger as they started the long run up the hill to the wire, but Dancing To Town and Joe Rocco Jr. just kept on finding and got the win by a length.  To My Valentine and David Flores went all the way as well as they took home the Ladies Sprint Stakes.  To My Valentine had a length lead for most of the trip down the hill and as they started coming up the hill, Magical Moon (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) came right to the throat of To My Valentine, but To My Valentine kept on grinding and held on to win by a neck.

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