Java’s War from last to first to win the Bluegrass at Keeneland
Java’s War came roaring down the center of the Keeneland stretch after passing every one of his rivals in the final 3/8ths of a mile to win the Grade 1 $750,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland. Sent off at odds of 9/2, Java’s War broke slowly and was last early on as favored Rydilluc wetook command in the early stages. Rydilluc opened up nearly three lengths as he arrived at the top of the stretch, as Palace Malice (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) emerged as the main challenger. Palace Malice grabbed command inside the final furlong, but Java’s War came roaring down the outside and got up in the final jumps to win by a neck. Palace Malice finished up in second, just a neck ahead of long shot Charming Kitten who ran into the third spot.
Centre Court (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was able to reel in Daisy Devine (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) to get up and win the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley. Sent off as the 8/5 favorite, Centre Court sat back in third as Daisy Devine went out to set the early fractions. Daisy Devine was looking to repeat in this race, and opened up nearly five lengths at the top of the stretch. But Julien Leparoux and Centre Court quickened as they came into the lane and blew by the leader to win going away by two impressive lengths. Last Full Measure scored a 17/1 upset in the Madison Stakes, as she closed from last to get up and get the prestigious Grade 1 win. Jamaican Smoke (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out and grabbed the lead and looked to be home at the eighth pole. But Last Full Measure and Byrama, who were 9th and 10th early on, came roaring by late to get up and finish first and second.
The Grade 3 Shakertown produced one of the most exciting finishes of the day, as five horses came to the wire in a line. It was Havelock (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) who got up to win by a nose at 7/1 over Something Extra (BetPTC.com Longshot). Perfect Officer (BetPTC.com Top Selection) missed by just a head in the third spot and completed a BetPTC.com trifecta worth $268 for every $2 bet. Handsome Mike and Mario Gutierrez went through a solid battle with Gantry (BetPTC.com Top Selection) during the entire running of the Commonwealth, and those two ran 1-2 the whole way in a thrilling edition of the 7 furlong race, with Handsome Mike prevailing in the end.
Overanalyze takes home the Arkansas Derby
Overanalyze finally lived up to his hype from his two year old season as he and Rafael Bejarano dominated the $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby, drawing off to win by four and a quarter lengths. Sent off at odds of 7/2, Overanalyze fell into a good spot in seventh early on, out in the clear as there was a strong battle up front early with Divine Ambition and Falling Sky going at one another. Falling Sky took the lead for good at the quarter pole and had the lead into the stretch, but once Overanalyze got into the clear, he began to pull away and never looked back. Longshot’s Frac Daddy and Carve rallied up to grab second and third respectively at big odds, completing a $1,200 trifecta. War Academy (BetPTC.com Top Selection) was pulled up going down the backstretch and apparently took a bad step as the race favorite. Oxbow was last at one point down the backstretch but just couldn’t get his normal momentum going, and wounded up finishing a dull fifth place.
Justin Phillip (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was able to rally from off the pace and reel in long shot Picko’s Pride to win the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap as the heavy favorite. Cyber Secret pulled off one of the bigger upsets of the day when he took home the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap, besting Breeders’ Cup Classic champ Fort Larned who stalled out and ran fifth. Get Happy Mister was able to hold off favorite Looking Cool (BetPTC.com Top Selection) to win the Northern Spur Stakes.
Mizdirection makes it four in a row
Mizdirection had to dig in late once again, but she determinedly got up once again on Saturday, this time winning the $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes at Santa Anita. Sent off as the 2/5 favorite, Mizdirection and Schiaparelli went out and battled early on through only moderate fractions. They opened up at the quarter pole and down the lane Schiaparelli actually opened up two lengths at one point on Mizdirection. Mizdirection came on in the final yards, and Schiaparelli hopped and went off stride just momentarily, giving Mizdirection just enough opportunity to get up and win it by half a length.