Forty Tales takes the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs
Forty Tales and Capo Bastone put on a good show for trainer Todd Pletcher as he saddled them to run 1-2 in the $175,000 added Derby Trial at Churchill Downs on the opening night card Saturday. Sent off as the 3/1 favorite, Forty Tales (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) and jockey Joel Rosario came rolling from off of the pace as Zee Bros went right to the front. Zee Bros didn’t set overly demanding fractions, but the began to tire in mid-stretch as he arrived at the eighth pole. Forty Tales and Rosario flew and grabbed the lead inside the final eighth, as Capo Bastone (BetPTC.com Top Selection) came roaring from the back, but fell a neck short. Long Shot Ruler of Love was able to sneak into the trifecta. The win was one of four straight and five on the night for Joel Rosario who was coming off a Keeneland riding title and got off to a quick start at Churchill Downs.
Friday was Keeneland’s closing day and it was again Joel Rosario, as he and Dark Cove teamed up to win the demanding 12 furlong Elkhorn Stakes. Sent off at a juicy 8/1 mutuel, Dark Cove was close up early as favored Ioya Bigtime (BetPTC.com Top Selection) went out to set the early pace. Ioya Bigtime folded the tent after Dark Cove took over the lead at the quarter pole, and he and Rosario never looked back, opening up to win by four and one quarter lengths. Side road got up at 23/1 to get the second spot while Sky Blazer ran third.
Surfcup hits the Gold Rush on Saturday at Hollywood
Surfcup and Rafael Bejarano struck it rich on Saturday as they won the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes on Gold Rush Day at Betfair Hollywood Park. Sent off at odds of 5/1, Surfcup stalked Bobo early on and took command from that rival as the field came into the stretch. Heavily favored Tiz A Minister (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) found himself in his usual spot, last and some fifteen lengths off the lead going down the backstretch. Surfcup certainly got first run on all the closers, including Fighting Hussar who made a run at him late, but fell three quarters of a length short. Tiz A Minster started his close, but could only manage third.
Curvy Cat and Corey Nakatani closed from far back to win the $125,000 B. Thoughtful Stakes. Curvy Cat (BetPTC.com 2nd Selection) was sent off as the 6/1 fourth choice and was far back early on as favored Ismene went out to the front. Ismene opened up two lengths in mid-stretch, but could not hold off Curvy Cat’s late bid, as that tricky seven and one half furlong distance got the best of Ismene. Dancingtothestars (BetPTC.com Top Selection) came in third. Kate’s Event gave Rafael Bejarano another stakes win on the card as he won the Tiznow Stakes. Sent off at 4/1, Kate’s Event was another closer, as she was forced to reel in a loose on the lead Rock Me Baby, who held the lead until the final strides. Planet Sunshine (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) ran into the trifecta at odds of 14/1.
Master Rick rolls late to capture the Texas Mile
Master Rick and Ricardo Santana came rolling up four wide on the final turn to get up and win the $200,000 Texas Mile on Saturday at Lone Star Park. One of the premier races of the season, the Texas Mile started out with Good Lord and Prayer For Relief (BetPTC.com 3rd Selection) going out and setting the early pace. Those two battled much of the way, with Prayer For Relief being roused to the lead at the furlong pole. But Master Rick had all the momentum late, as he came rolling by on the outside to get up and score by a length and a quarter in a swift 1:36.00. Prayer For Relief was second while early pacesetter Good Lord was third.