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One of the two all-important Road to the Kentucky Derby points gathering races took place at Turfway Park on Saturday. Sterling Racing's Black Onyx put his name firmly on the Derby radar with an upset 1 1/2 length win at 15-1 odds for his first career stakes victory.
The 1 1/2 mile Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup at Santa Anita Park went down on Saturday, March 23. Bob Baffert's Sky Kingdom came out on top at 5-1 odds for his second win in three starts after returning from nearly a year away.
Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida hosted the $150,000 Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes for older fillies and mares on Sunday.
Center Court, making her 2013 debut made it a triumphant one at the $150,000 Grade 2 Honey Fox Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Saturday. 2-1 favorite Center Court ran to her fourth Grade 2 win in less than a year by 1 3/4 lengths over a very game 5-2 second choice Samitar who edged out Frontside in third.
Saturday's $150,000 Grade 3 San Luis Rey Stakes at Santa Anita featured a new World Record time over the 1 1/2 mile turf course - 2:22.72. 5-2 second choice Bright Thought pulled away in the stretch from the field of eight and earned his third straight win on Santa Anita Turf by 3 1/4 lengths.
The $300,000 Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes went down at Santa Anita on Saturday. In a small field of five older fillies and mares it was 11-10 favorite Joyful Victory that finally broke through in a Grade 1 event and secured the victory by a somewhat easy four lengths over 2-1 second choice More Chocolate and Brushed by a Star.
Perhaps the biggest graded stakes race of the weekend took place on Saturday at Oaklawn Park - the $600,000 Grade 2 Rebel Stakes for three year old Kentucky Derby hopefuls raced for the very nice first place prize and the 50 qualifying points on the "Road to the Kentucky Derby".
The $100,000 Grade 3 Las Flores Stakes went down at Santa Anita Park on Sunday for older fillies and mares. It was Rumor that posted the upset victory for her first ever graded stakes score for trainer Richard Mandella by a half length over 4-5 favorite Teddy's Promise.
The $300,000 Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Handicap went down Saturday at Gulfstream Park. It was an incident marred race in which the 4-5 favorite Breeders' Cup Classic winner Fort Larned stumbled at the start, dropped his jockey and was declared a non-finisher.
In the $150,000 Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, 3-2 favorite, Todd Pletcher trained Old Tune made it two straight wins at Tampa Bay Downs with a wire-to-wire victory by 1 1/4 lengths. 7-2 second choice Forces of Darkness, making her U.S. debut, rallied up the hedge for second by a head over Mystical Star.
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