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Las Vegas, NV - Another weekend of graded stakes action is in the books. Now we can look forward to some mid-week action July 4th on a few fronts - Belmont and Monmouth just to name a couple. For now - we concentrate on the weekend that was - the upsets, the expected results and the horses that saw their stocks rise and fall after this weekend.
Belmont Park hosted three stakes races this past weekend - two on Saturday and one on Sunday. Let's start with The Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes on Saturday. Michael Matz pupil Teeth of the Dog did what he was supposed to do as 5-2 favorite in the race. He outlasted Fast Falcon who was second and Morgan's Guerrilla who came third. Teeth of the Dog instilled himself as a serious three year old going forward - impressive indeed.
Also on Belmont's Saturday card was the New York Stakes. Mystical Star, the fourth choice in the race raced to her first stakes win and avenged a disqualification three weeks ago in the Sheepshead Stakes. Mystical Star beat 9-5 favorite Aruna who finished second and 5-1 Hit it Rich who finished third.
On Sunday, Belmont hosted the Grade 3 Bed o' Roses Handicap. 3-1 Derwin's Star won her first race since September 2010 and her second graded stakes race overall when she edged 6-1 Catch a Thief and 8-5 favorite C C's Pal who finished third.
Prairie Meadows was also the scene of three graded stakes races this weekend. The richest and most prestigious of the three was the Grade 3 Cornhusker Handicap which took place on Saturday. Second choice 7-2 Fort Larned avenged his loss in the Alysheba Stakes May 4th to Successful Dan and beat the 6-5 heavy favorite who wound up second. Awesome Gem at 6-1 finished third.
Also on Prairie Meadows Saturday Card were the Iowa Oaks and the Iowa Derby. In the Grade 3 Iowa Derby Hansen did what many expected and avenged an uncharacteristically poor effort - a 9th in the Kentucky Derby. After a long layoff, he was the class of the field fending off 8-1 and Louisiana Derby winner Hero of Order and long shot 15-1 Mach Bull who finished third.
In the Iowa Oaks Uptown Bertie at 3-1 won her stakes debut over favorite 2-1 Ice Cream Silence who finished second. The longest shot in the field 12-1 Emona represented herself very well and finished third.
Hollywood Park played host to the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile and the Grade 1 Triple bend Handicap on Saturday - quite a day for racing enthusiasts. In the Shoemaker it was 7-2 Jeranimo who came from last to finish first in the race defeating highly touted Argentinean (6-1 odds) Suggestive Boy who finished second and favorite Little Mike. Mr. Commons, the second choice finished fourth.
In the Triple Bend it was Camp Victory who claimed victory in upset fashion after a pair of thirds in his previous two graded stakes races. The favorite The Factor finished second while longer shot 10-1 Mobilized finished third.
Monmouth Park was the scene of the Grade 3 Eatontown Handicap on Saturday. Silver Screamer in her stakes debut claimed victory at 6-1 odds over 5-1 Heavenly Landing who finished second and 4-1 Unbridled Humor who was third.
On Sunday Woodbine hosted the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes. Hunters Bay, the 7-10 favorite outlasted former Canadian Champion three year old, 8-1 Pender Harbour. Hunters Bay impressively followed up a win in the Eclipse Stakes on this track and has staked claim as the one to beat in any future entries. 5-1 Stately Victor finished third.
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