Las Vegas, NV - Another weekend of graded stakes action has come and gone - and what a weekend it was! Saratoga and Del Mar hosted enormous racing days over the weekend and provided some surprising, some predictable and some results for the ages. Let's break it down starting with Saratoga.
Travers Stakes at Saratoga Results
Travers Day at Saratoga was held on Saturday. Four Grade 1 races took place with the main even being the $1 million Travers Stakes for the best three year olds in the land. It all came down to a photo finish and even that could not determine a winner. It was the first dead heat in the 143 years of the Travers. 2-1 favorite Alpha had to be happy to get up for the tie after catching 33-1 ninth choice Golden Ticket at the end. A win is a win and in this race two shared the honors of winning the biggest race of the summer for three year olds. Fast Falcon for what it is worth finished third!
Travers Stakes Results & Payouts
Ballston Spa Stakes at Saratoga Results
The Grade 2 Ballston Spa Stakes was also on the Saratoga Saturday card and it featured three year old fillies and mares. It was 3-2 favorite Zagora that came out on top in record time for her fourth win in six starts this year. 3-1 fourth choice Hungry Island finished four and three quarter lengths behind while 9-2 Summer Soiree tired and finished third.
Ballston Spa Stakes Results & Payouts
King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga Results
Three year old sprinters took part in the seven furlong King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday as well. 11-1 Willy Beamin won his second race in three days! Hard to believe! He had the best kick in the field and outsprinted Fort Loudon who finished second and Unbridled's Note who finished third. The two favorites in the race Currency Swap and Trinninberg were disappointing - both finished out of the money on Saturday.
King's Bishop Stakes Results & Payouts
Test Stakes at Saratoga Results
Saratoga's Saturday race bonanza also featured the Grade 1 Test Stakes for three year old fillies. Even money favorite Bob Baffert trained Contested started slowly but rebounded to post a comfortable two length victory to avenge a last place finish in the Mother Goose in her previous start. 15-1 Gypsy Robin finished second and 15-1 Beautiful But Blue finished third. It was Bob Baffert trained Contested that was the class of the field however.
Test Stakes Results & Payouts
Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Results
The Grade 1 action at Saratoga was not limited to Saturday - the Personal Ensign Stakes was run on Sunday for fillies and mares three years old and upward. It was 10-1 fourth choice Love and Pride that finally got over the hump to defeat her peers. She earned an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic with the win. 3-5 favorite Royal Delta finished second in the race while 2-1 second choice It's Tricky overcame a stumble at the start and finished a very game third.
Personal Ensign Stakes Results & Payouts
Del Mar Handicap at Del Mar Results
Del Mar Raceway in Southern California also hosted its share of huge races this weekend starting with the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap which was run Saturday for horses three years old and upward. Third choice 7-2 Casino Host emerged victorious to gain an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf. 6-5 favorite Dhaamer ended a two race win streak and was second while Fire With Fire represented himself well by finishing third in his graded stakes debut.
Del Mar Handicap Results & Payouts
Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar Results
Three graded stakes races were run at Del Mar on Sunday - this biggest of which was the $1 million Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes - the signature race at Del Mar's summer meet. Dullahan bounced back after a couple of sub-par efforts on the East Coast and recorded the victory over 6-5 favorite Game On Dude in track record time. Dullahan gained an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Classic with his third win in three career starts on Polytrack. The embattled Richard's Kid finished third.
Pacific Classic Stakes Results & Payouts
Del Mar Mile at Del Mar Results
The Grade 2 Del Mar Mile also took place on Del Mar's Sunday card and it featured horses three years old and upward as they raced on Del Mar's synthetic track. Heavy favorite 11-10 Obviously came out on top in course record time and automatically gained a berth into the Breeders' Cup Mile in November. Mr. Commons benefitted from a good stretch run and emerged from well back to finish second while highly touted Jeranimo was third.
Del Mar Mile Results & Payouts
Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar Results
Also on Sunday the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes was run over seven furlongs on Del Mar's synthetic track. 5-2 third choice Capital Account gave Bob Baffert his fourth straight Pat O'Brien Stakes by edging out stable-mate 3-2 race favorite Coil by a half a length. It was Capital Account's first stakes win. 8-5 second choice Camp Victory Camp Victory was third.
Pat O'Brien Stakes Results & Payouts
King Stakes at Woodbine Results
Woodbine Raceway in Toronto, Ontario hosted the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes on Sunday. Big Band Sound overcame his incredible case of "second-itis" and broke through with a two and a half length win as 5-2 second choice. Riding The River's two race win streak ended with his second place finish and Delegation finished third. 2-1 favorite Smokey Fire was disappointing finishing last.