Midnight Bisou won the weekend's biggest race thanks to a stewards' ruling against Monomoy Girl, undoubtedly setting up a juicy rematch a short way down the road.
McKinzie came back with vigor from a long break to win the Pennsylvania Derby.
Internationally, Rey De Oro won his comeback race in Japan; Jungle Cat scored another Group 1 for Godolphin, this time in Australia; and Kessaar took down the Mill Reef for 2-year-olds in England. John Gosden said Roaring Lion is a candidate for the Breeders' Cup -- either the Classic or the Turf.
And, get this: Churchill Downs is stealing a classic idea from Chicago Cubs fans. See News and Notes.
Monomoy Girl, the heavy favorite, got home first by a neck over long-time rival Midnight Bisou in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Cotillion at Parx Racing -- only to be set down to second for stretch interference. The defeat was only the second of Monomoy Girl's career, which includes wins in the Ashland, Kentucky Oaks, Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks. Midnight Bisou chased her home in two of those and looked poised to turn the tables Saturday as they were the only two left with a chance at the top of the stretch.
Jockey Mike Smith initially took Midnight Bisou to the rail, only to have Monomoy Girl and Florent Geroux cross over in front of them. Smith switched back to the outside but as he drew alongside the rival, Monomoy Girl drifted farther and farther out into the track, floating Midnight Bisou ever wider.
"I was going straight as an arrow to stay in my path," Smith said. "But when (Geroux) chose to come over and take it from me, I choose the outer route. There probably would not have been a DQ if he would have stayed straight at that point, but he came out again and we wound up in the eight or nine path. I never got a straight run and we got beat only a neck."
Geroux replied: "I am not the steward. This was a million-dollar race. A Grade I race. I thought our filly was the best today."
Wonder Gadot finished third as the 1 1/16 miles over a fast track went in 1:45.95 after a pedestrian early pace.
McKinzie, making his first start since March, stalked the pace in Saturday's $1 million Grade I Pennsylvania Derby at Parx Racing, worked to the lead turning for home and reported first by a comfortable 1 3/4 lengths over Axelrod. It was another 7 1/2 lengths to Trigger Warning in third. Hofburg, forced wide on the stretch turn, settled for fourth. McKinzie, a Street Sense colt, ran 9 furlongs on a fast track in 1:52.05 with Mike Smith scoring back-to-back $1 million wins.
Smith said the return of McKinzie helps soothe the sting of losing Triple Crown winner Justify to retirement and he credited trainer Bob Baffert, trainer of both steeds. "To come off the bench at a mile and an eighth, Bob is just a tremendous trainer," Smith said. "I felt very confident that I could be aggressive early and move a little early because I knew Bob had him ready.”
"I always felt like he was the best 3-year-old and then he got hurt and Justify picked it up," Baffert said. "If you had asked me on Jan. 1, I would have told you we were going to win the Kentucky Derby with that horse."
Baffert and Smith had less success in the $150,000 Pennsylvania Derby Championship Stakes on the undercard as Collected, making his first start since January, failed to fire and finished fourth, 6 3/4 lengths behind the winner, Aztec Sense. Zanotti and Name Changer completed the trifecta as Aztec Sense, a 5-year-old Street Sense gelding, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.97 with Emisael Jaramillo up. Aztec Sense won his seventh straight race. Collected, who was second to Gun Runner in last year's Breeders' Cup Classic, finished seventh in the Grade I Pegasus World Cup in his last start Jan. 27 at Gulfstream Park.
Only four faced the starter for Sunday's $125,000 (Canadian) Durham Cup at Woodbine so jockey Jerome Lermyte decided to send the field's longest chance, Lookin for Eight, out for a theft job. It worked as the 4-year-old Lookin at Lucky gelding led all the way and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Florida Won. Melmich and Avie's Mesa completed the order of finish. Lookin for Eight completed 9 furlongs on the all-weather course in 1:50.55.
However the field for the Breeders' Cup Classic shakes out, it could include Roaring Lion, recent winner of the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and a combatant in some of the toughest 2- and 3-year-old races on the other side of the pond this year and last. Trainer John Gosden told Racing Post the Kitten's Joy colt is targeted for the British Champion Stakes at Ascot Oct. 20 -- two weeks before the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs. "If he went to the Breeders' Cup, it could be the mile and a half on turf or we could look at the Classic on dirt," the trainer said. "He's a mile-and-a-quarter horse so you'd consider the Classic as well as the Turf. The mile and a half around three bends (the Turf) is not that different to a stiff mile and a quarter uphill at Ascot."
Patternrecognition led all the way to a 1-length victory over Sunny Ridge in Saturday's $300,000 Grade II Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park. Timeline was third and the favorite, Battle of Midway, tired to finish fifth. Patternrecognition, a 5-year-old, Florida-bred son of Adios Charlie, ran the one-turn mile over a fast track in 1:34.16 with Tyler Gaffalione riding for trainer Chad Brown, who had five winners on the card.
Patternrecognition was making just his 10th start and first in a stakes of any kind. His record, achieved mostly on lower rungs of the class ladder, however, is commendable -- four wins and five seconds. "You can see from his past races, he's always been a fighter," Gaffalione said. "He was in a good rhythm on the turn for home and those horses didn't really come to him. When I asked him for run, he definitely responded."
Switzerland continued a rapid ascent up the class ladder with a front-running, 2 3/4-lengths victory in Saturday's $250,000 Grade III Frank De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel Park. The 4-year-old Speightstown colt, trained by Steve Asmussen, shook loose from pressure halfway through the 6 furlongs and was in command thereafter, finishing in 1:09.11 over a fast track with Feargal Lynch riding him for the first time. Switzerland took eight tries to find the winner's circle. But since that initial victory, he has four wins from five starts, the sole loss coming in the Grade I Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga, where he faded after leading through a blistering first half mile.
"Steve said to me he doesn't always break that sharp," Lynch said of Switzerland. "He didn't break that sharp the last time and he rushed up in there, and he didn't want me to do that again … He broke probably second (Saturday) and he was able to get up in there and I was able to get him to relax and hoped he'd be able to stay on," Lynch added.
Firenze Fire outlasted Whereshetoldmetogo in the final sixteenth of Saturday's $300,000 Grade III Gallant Bob for 3-year-olds at Parx Racing, winning by a neck. Seven Trumpets was in the thick of things until the final yards and settled for third. Firenze Fire, a Poseidon's Warrior colt, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:11.27 with Irad Ortiz Jr. up. He now is 2-for-3 since finishing 11th in the Kentucky Derby.
It appeared Whereshetoldmetogo, ridden by Jeremy Rose, attempted to nip Firenze Fire's neck in the stretch run. "He tried to bite me," Ortiz said. "Jeremy told me he tried to bite me but nothing happened."
Winning trainer Jason Servis sounded uncertain about plans. "We go to the Breeders' Cup Sprint now," he first said, then amended, "We have the option to do the Mile or the Sprint. I'll talk to (owner Ron Lombardi) and we'll see."
Switzerland wins Saturday's De Francis Dash at Laurel Park, Laurel Park photo
Filly & Mare Sprint
Local star Late Night Pow Wow hooked up in a stretch duel with 42-1 long shot Chauncey in Saturday's $300,000 Grade III Charles Town Oaks and needed every stride to win by a neck. The favorite, Sower, led early and held third. Late Night Pow Wow, a West Virginia-bred daughter of Fibre Sonde, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:24.37 with Fredy Peltroche riding. She now has seven wins and one second from eight career starts, all at Charles Town.
"The way she worked, she could have run against anyone," said Late Night Pow Wow's owner/trainer Javier Contreras. "She's the real deal. Everybody has been behind us here. It's been amazing. It's my first graded stakes win. It's a big deal. It might not be like the Derby or anything but it's my Derby."
Who's that riding a long shot along the rail down the sloppy Churchill Downs stretch to post a massive upset win? Why, of course it's Calvin Borel. This time Borel was aboard Divine Queen, dispatched at 51-1 odds in Saturday's $100,000 Dogwood for 3-year-old fillies. The Divine Park filly won a three-way battle to the wire by a head over Go Google Yourself. The early leader, Jean Elizabeth was third, 1/2 length farther back. Divine Queen finished the sloppy 7 furlongs in 1:25.04. Last seen finishing fourth in an Ellis Park heat, she scored her third win from seven starts.
"This filly has been training so well and she put things all together in this race," Borel said. "The horse in front was getting out a bit so it left the rail open and we got a great trip." The trip virtually duplicated Borel's rail-skimming ride through the slop to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby aboard 50-1 shot Mine That Bird.
Union Strike rallied inside the pace pair in Sunday's $300,000 Grade II Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park and was up just in time to win by 1/2 length over Your Love. Kirby's Penny led much of the way and salvaged third, another 1/2 length back. Union Strike, a 4-year-old daughter of Union Rags, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.24. "I didn't break quite well but she's a filly who always come from off," said winning rider Jose Ortiz. "I just wanted to follow the horses and as we got closer to the quarter-pole, I saw an opening near the rail, so I went there."
Frosted Ice sat chilly as a trio of rivals set a hot pace in Friday's $150,000 Bertram F. Bongard Stakes for New York-breds at Belmont Park, blew by those and shot off to win by 6 1/4 lengths. Poppy's Destiny was second, 1 length better than Bustin Hoffman. Bankit was fourth. Frosted Ice, a Bellamy Road colt, ran 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.12 under Joel Rosario. He broke his maiden on try No. 2 at Saratoga. "I think he's going to want to stretch out and I think he deserves to be considered for some of the other races coming up and we'll keep our eyes on the New York-bred stakes as well," said trainer Ron Moquett.
First-time starter Galilean fought for the lead throughout Saturday's $100,000 Barretts Juvenile for California-breds at Los Alamitos, opened a daylight lead in the stretch when the early challenger chucked it in and then just held on to win by a neck over Seven Scents. Our Silver Oak was third. Galilean, an Uncle Mo colt out of the El Prado mare Fresia, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:15.24 with Drayden Van Dyke riding.
West Point Thoroughbreds paid $600,000 for Galilean at the Barretts 2-year-olds in training sale in April and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said he looks worth that. "I'm happy," Hollendorfer said. He'll improve off that race. I've got a lot to work with because he's got really good size and carries really good weight."
Order and Law started last of 11 in Saturday's $100,000 Laurel Futurity, came widest of all into the stretch and outfinished Scrap Copper to win by a nose despite the overland trip. Veterans Beach held a brief lead and saved third while the favorite, Market Bubble, showed little and reported eighth. Order and Law, a Violence colt, finished 6 furlongs on yielding turf in 1:14.94 with Feargal Lynch in the irons. "He showed a lot of talent from the beginning, and moving forward I think he'll get better with more distance," said winning trainer Louis Linder Jr. "We'll look at a race at Keeneland. That would probably be our next move."
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Monkey's Uncle raced well back early in Saturday's $100,000 Selima Stakes at Laurel Park, swung out toward the middle of the course entering the stretch to quickly take the lead and won by 1/2 length over Shoobiedoobydoo. Helen was third and the favorite, Elsa, never fired, finishing seventh. Monkey's Uncle, an Uncle Mo filly, got 6 furlongs on the yielding course in 1:16.11 for jockey Daniel Centeno. It was her second win from as many starts, following a hard-fought triumph in her initial race at Delaware Park, going 1 mile and 70 yards.
Hello Don Julio dueled with Final Copy through most of the 1 1/2 miles of Saturday's $100,000 Laurel Turf Cup, shook loose from that rival and held on to win by 3/4 length over Cooptado -- a 115-1 shot. Postulation was third and Final Copy faded to get home fourth. Hello Don Julio, a 6-year-old Afleet Alex gelding, finished in 2:34.68 over yielding turf with Channing Hill riding. The time is "only" 10.93 seconds off the course record, which has been held by Kelso since 1964.
Filly & Mare Turf
Only four contested Saturday's $200,000 Grade III Noble Damsel for fillies and mares over yielding turf at Belmont Park with Uni rallying from last of the quartet to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Hawksmoor, Thundering Sky and Dream Awhile completed the order of finish. Uni, a 4-year-old, British-bred daughter of More Than Ready, ran 1 mile in 1:33.11 with Joel Rosario at the controls. It was the third straight win for the filly, who has missed the top three only once since arriving in the United States.
"This was a tough kind of race, only four in the field and it looked like a lone speed," said Whit Beckman, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown. "But she's a classy little filly and got it done. Brown trained the winners of the first four races on the card and five overall.
Valedictorian led from the start in Saturday's $150,000 All Along at Laurel Park and wasn't caught, posting the 12-1 upset win by 1 1/2 lengths over Mythical Mission. My Impression was third and the favorite, Stormy Victoria, made little impression indeed, finishing seventh, beaten 7 3/4 lengths. Valedictorian, a daughter of Temple City, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:45.74, winning for the third time in her last four starts for trainer Kelly Breen.
Class and Cash rallied from far back to take Saturday's $100,000 Laurel Dash by 1/2 length from Dubini. Fielder also ran well late but settled for third. Class and Cash, a 6-year-old Exchange Rate gelding, ran 6 furlongs over yielding turf in 1:14.04 for jockey Feargal Lynch.
Fire Key won a three-way scramble for the wire in Saturday's $100,000 Sensible Lady Turf Dash at Laurel Park, outfinishing Compelled by a nose and Fear No Evil by a further head. The favorite, Smiling Causeway, contested the lead and tired to finish eighth. Fire Key, a 5-year-old Friesan Fire mare, got 6 furlongs over the yielding turf course in 1:14.96 with Julian Pimentel up.
On the international scene:
After six months off, Rey De Oro wasn't at 100 percent for Sunday's Grade 2 All Comers Stakes at Nakayama -- a prep for the Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) on Oct. 28. Still, the 4-year-old son of King Kamehameha had enough to catch Al Ain with a rail move in the late going and win by a neck. Danburite was 3 lengths farther back in third. Rey De Oro, with Christophe Lemaire up for trainer Kazuo Fujisawa, finished the 11 furlongs in 2:11.2. It was his first race since a disappointing fourth in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on World Cup night. Last year, Rey De Oro won the Grade 1 Japanese Derby and finished second, behind only Cheval Grand, in the Grade 1 Japan Cup.
This year's Japanese Derby winner, Wagnerian, also won Sunday, taking down the Grade 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai at Hanshin -- a prep for the Oct. 21 Kikuka Sho, or Japanese St. Leger. Wagnerian's dam, Miss Encore, was euthanized earlier this month as a result of injuries suffered in the Hokkaido earthquake.
Kessaar added his name to an illustrious list of former winners, landing Saturday's Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef for 2-year-olds at Newbury by a comfortable 2 3/4 lengths. Kodiac colt, trained by John Gosden, led from the start under Frankie Dettori. He was headed briefly by True Mason near the furlong marker but rallied and pulled clear again. The favorite, Shine So Bright, stalked the pace early in the 6-furlongs race but could not go with the top two in the final furlongs. Marie's Diamond was withdrawn because of soft going.
Kessaar, out of the Raven's Pass mare Querulous, made it two in a row following a victory in the Group 3 188bet Casino Sirenia Stakes over the Kempton all-weather course Sept. 8 and Gosden said the Group 1 Criterium International at Longchamp on Oct. 28 is next. "We didn't know if Kessaar would handle the soft ground today but it won't worry us again," Gosden said. "The Criterium International used to be a mile but they've dropped it to seven furlongs and we are all going to Paris."
The roster of Mill Reef winners includes such as Ribchester in 2015 and Harry Angel in 2016. Dettori won last year's renewal aboard James Garfield.
Also on the Saturday card at Newbury: Young Rascal, making his first start since a seventh-place finish in the Investec Derby 112 days earlier, edged Mirage Dancer in the final strides of the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup -- formerly the Arc Trial. Young Rascal, a French-bred colt by Intello trained by William Haggas, won the Chester Vase in preparation for his Derby effort and now has three wins from five starts.
Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby continued their outstanding season with a narrow win Saturday in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield as Jungle Cat pipped Dollar for Dollar and Land of Plenty in the 1,400-meters run. Godolphin also finished fourth and fifth with the favorite, Home of the Brave, and Osborne Bulls, both trained by James Cummings. Jungle Cat, with James Doyle in the kip, rallied strongly from mid-field, finishing in 1:22.31 over good turf and backing up his victory in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night in March.
"It's great to have a Group 1 winner here. It was a great ride by James," Appleby said. "There was plenty of pace on -- more pace than I thought there'd be … It was always our plan after the Al Quoz to come here because Group 1's at 7 furlongs in Europe, there aren't too many around."
Also of note Down Under: Chautauqua turned in a satisfactory trial Friday at Flemington, departing the gate in good order, and his connections are hoping another successful trial in a week's time will lead to clearance for a start in the Manikato Stakes later in the springtime. The gray Encosta De Lago gelding, now 8, has been under a ban after repeatedly declining to leave the stalls and has not had an official race since November of 2017. When right, he was a multiple group 1 winner and carried the Australian banner to victory in the Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize in Hong Kong, defeating Lucky Bubbles, who is set to run next weekend in the Grade 1 Sprinters Stakes in Japan.
Back in North America, around the ovals:
Arlington International Racecourse wrapped up its season Saturday with trainer Larry Rivelli earning his fifth straight training title. Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. and owner Vince Foglia's Patricia's Hope LLC each earned a fourth straight premiership. Valdivia won five races on the final card. Arlington now hands the baton to Hawthorne Racecourse for the fall, winter and early spring.
Black Tide swept all before him -- at odds of nearly 29-1 -- in Sunday's $125,000 Ashley T. Cole Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds and up. Leading most of the way, the 6-year-old Hold Me Back gelding drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Offering Plan. Gucci Factor was third. Black Tide, with Jose Lezcano up, ran 9 furlongs on the good inner turf course in 1:48.09.
Fifty Five rallied from next-last to capture Sunday's $125,000 John Hettinger Stakes for state-bred distaffers, winning by 2 lengths over Munchkin Money. Fifty Five, a 4-year-old Get Stormy filly, traversed 9 furlongs of good turf in 1:48.98 with Javier Castellano riding.
Bourbon Stritta hit the gate at the start of Sunday's $100,000 (Canadian) Bull Page Stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old colts and geldings, then recovered in time to rally and win by a neck over pacesetting Souper Hot. Blessed Two finished No. 3. Bourbon Stritta, an Old Forester gelding, ran 6 furlongs on the all-weather track in 1:11.99 with Eurico Da Silva in the irons.
Silent Mistake battled to the lead in Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Victorian Queen Stakes for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, then fended off a late rally by Georgian Dancer to win by 1/2 length. Preferred Guest came from last of seven to finish third in the 6-furlongs tilt. Silent Mistake, a Silent Name filly, finished in 1:11.39 over the all-weather course with Gary Boulanger in the irons for trainer Norman McKnight.
Renaissance Frolic chased down pacesetting favorite Gemonteer and got by late to win Saturday's $75,000 Bear's Den Stakes for 3-year-olds by 1 length. Cometin was long for third, another 1/2 length in arrears. Renaissance Frolic, a Paynter gelding, ran about 7 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:31.14 with Nik Juarez in the irons.
Hey Adrian, at 1-5 odds, led all the way to a 3/4-length victory in Saturday's $75,000 Emerald Necklace Stakes for Ohio-bred 2-year-old fillies. Radiant Bird pressed the pace most of the way but couldn't get by and settled for second, 1 length to the good of Financing Dreams. Hey Adrian, a daughter of Twinspired, ran 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:13.88 for jockey Juan Velez.
Heavenhasmynikki circled three-wide from the back of the field to win Saturday's $75,000 Diana Stakes for state-bred fillies and mares by 2 lengths over Ali Blue. The favorite, Proper Discretion, reported third. Heavenhasmynikki, a 3-year-old Majestic Warrior filly, got 6 furlongs in 1:11.02 under Scott Spieth.
Fast and Accurate surged to the lead a furlong out in Saturday's $100,000 Alphabet Soup Stakes for Pennsylvania-breds and held on through the stretch run to win by 1 length from Bern' James Bern. Threeohtwocassie ran well late to get show money. Fast and Accurate, a 4-year-old Hansen colt owned by Dr. Kendall Hansen, ran 1 1/16 miles on good turf in 1:47.26 with Jose Ortiz and Irad Ortiz Jr. finishing 1-2. The colt won last year's Grade III Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, then finished 17th in the Kentucky Derby. He has earned nearly $500,000 for Dr. Hansen, who bred and owned his sire, winner of the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile by a head over Union Rags.
Saturday's four $75,000 stakes were all for Virginia-breds and all came off the turf course onto the sloppy main track.
Altamura stalked the pace in the 5 1/2-furlongs Oakley Stakes for fillies and mares, took the lead in the lane and won by 1 1/4 lengths over Up Hill Battle.
Elusive Mischief was much the best in the 5 1/2-furlongs Punch Line Stakes, kicking away in the lane to win by 5 1/4 lengths over Divine Interventio.
River Deep was even better as the odds-on favorite in the 1 1/8-miles Bert Allen Stakes for 3-year-olds and up, drawing off easily in the stretch and winning by 8 1/2 lengths over Runninginthevale.
Paulita edged by pacesetter Well Blessed in the stretch and won the Brookmeade Stakes at 9 furlongs for fillies and mares by 1 1/4 lengths over that rival. Armoire was third.
Northwest Factor stalked the pace in Sunday's $90,000 Gottstein Futurity, then outfinished Time 'n Time Again by a head. The latter, however, was set down to last for interference. That promoted Palladium to second and Fuzzy Dolphin to show money. Northwest Factor, a Kentucky-bred filly by The Factor, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:44.99 with Gary Wales riding.
Yulong Warrior was along late to take Sunday's $100,000 Getaway Day Stakes for 3-year-olds, defeating Weekend Wizard by 1 1/4 lengths. Boundary Bay reported third. Yulong Warrior, a Street Cry colt trained by Doug O'Neill, ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.61 under Evin Roman.
Lake Ponchatrain powered down the lane to win Saturday's $50,000 Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes for fillies and mares by 7 1/4 lengths from Renaissance Rosie. Lake Ponchatrain, a 6-year-old, Oklahoma-bred mare by Afleet Express, ran 7 furlongs on the fast track in 1:24.59 with Arnaldo Bocachica riding. Bocachica had a good day.
Burnin Ring O Fire cashed in Saturday's $50,000 Henry Mercer Memorial for West Virginia-bred 2-year-olds, rallying from off the pace to win by 1/2 length from Blushing Owen. Burnin Ring O Fire, a Limehouse gelding trained by Ollie Figgins, ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 52.65 seconds.
In the $50,000 Rachel's Turn Stakes for state-bred 2-year-old fillies, Battleground Star shook clear of her rivals a furlong out and drew off to a 5 1/4-lengths win over Parisian Diva. Rachael's Turn, by Astrology, finished in 52.38 with Bocachica up.
Runnintoluvya took charge in the final furlong of Saturday's $50,000 Frank Gall Memorial for state-breds, winning off by 5 3/4 lengths over Weekend Liberty. The winner, a 4-year-old Fibre Sonde gelding, got 7 furlongs in 1:24.49 with Oscar Flores riding.
Aaron's Tap hustled to the lead in Saturday's $50,000 Last Enchantment Stakes for West Virginia-breds, surged to a daylight lead and scored by 3 1/4 lengths, ridden out. Sythe was best of the rest. Aaron's Tap, a 4-year-old Northern Afleet gelding, got the 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.31 with Bocachica riding.
Anna's Bandit was along late to take the $50,000 Sadie Hawkins Stakes for state-bred distaffers by 1/2 length from the odds-on favorite, Moonlit Song. Anna's Bandit, a 4-year-old filly by Great Notion, negotiated 7 furlongs in 1:24.93 with Xavier Perez in the irons.
Roll On Diabolical rolled on down the stretch in Sunday's $175,000 New Mexico State Fair Thoroughbred Futurity for qualified state-breds, extending his lead to 4 1/4 lengths at the finish. The favorite, No Pasa Nada, was second, 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Send the Storm. Roll On Diabolical, a Diabolical colt, got 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.59 with Alejandro Medellin up.
News and Notes
The trend for rooftop viewing of sports events may or may not have started across Waveland Avenue and Sheffield Avenue from Wrigley Field, with guys sitting on paint buckets and swigging Old Style while watching the Chicago Cubs. But the rooftop seating craze will hit a new height -- both literally and figuratively -- next May at the Kentucky Derby in a "Rooftop Lounge" atop the new-this-year "Starting Gate Suites" at the top of the stretch. Churchill Downs says the lounge will add 250 seats and 250 standing room only spots. The latter, presumably, are "bring your own paint bucket" options. Ticket prices will be announced later but it's a sure bet the Old Style will be supplanted by mint juleps made with Woodford Reserve, the title sponsor of the Run for the Roses.