OTB Race Previews & Odds
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Las Vegas, NV - With yet another week of racing in the books it is time to take a look back at all the happenings at all the biggest tracks in North America. As per usual there were some terrific races, some anti-climactic results and some performances definitely worthy of mention. This week, we will concentrate on Saratoga, Del Mar, Monmouth, Emerald Downs and Woodbine - let's start with Saratoga.
On Saturday the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes was run for three year old fillies in one of the most wide open divisions in horse racing. It was Questing, the 2-1 second choice that absolutely dominated winning by a staggering nine lengths over the nearest competitor In Lingerie. Third place finisher Via Villaggio was 17 lengths behind the overwhelming winner. Grace Hall, the even money favorite finished a disappointing fifth and the decent Zo Impressive sustained a possible career threatening injury in the race. It was quite a scene with Questing stealing the show.
Also contested at Saratoga on Saturday was the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes for horses three years old and upward. Point of Entry proved why he is regarded as one of the best turf horses in the nation once again by posting a four length victory - his fourth straight win and second straight G1 score. Al Khali was two and a half lengths behind for second place and Brilliant Speed finished third.
Saratoga hosted the 29th running of the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes on Sunday for three year old fillies. It was Stephanie's Kitten that took the race and served notice that she will be one to watch in the division with the win. The 11-10 favorite avenged a loss to eventual second place finisher Center Court who finished second. Somali Lemonade made a late charge in the race and finished a respectable third.
Del Mar Raceway in Southern California was the scene of the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks for three year old fillies on Saturday. The even money favorite Lady of Shamrock did what most expected she would do and came out on top for her second straight G1 win. That makes four wins in six starts in 2012 for Lady of Shamrock who rallied from last place to win in thrilling fashion. The longest shot in the field Stormy Lucy at 43-1 finished an impressive second and 25-1 Open Water was third. Eden's Moon the 2-1 second choice led most of the way but faded to fifth.
The 41st running of the Rancho Bernardo Handicap went down on Sunday at Del Mar for fillies and mares three years old and upward. Winding Way overcame a brutal start and won her third race in just her third career start. Winding Way was the 7-5 favorite and beat out Sugarinthemorning who finished second and highly regarded Rumor who finished third.
Monmouth Park on the Jersey Shore hosted the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes for horses three years old and upward on Saturday. 4-5 favorite San Pablo recorded a three and a half length win for his first graded stakes win and his third stakes score overall. That makes seven wins in 12 career starts for San Pablo. 8-5 second choice Toby's Corner was second and 28-1 shot Small Town Talk finished a very respectable third.
The Grade 3 Longacres Mile was contested at Emerald Downs this past Sunday and featured horses three years old and upward. Taylor Said won his sixth straight race as the 5-2 second choice out-dueling Winning Machine who held the lead for a while in the race and the 2-1 favorite Awesome Gem who was looking for a repeat in the Longacres but came up with a third place effort. The big story ahead of this race however was the absence of Gladding who was scratched prior to race time with a fever.
Woodbine Race Track in Toronto was the scene of the Grade 2 Sky Classic on Sunday for horses three years old and upward on Woodbine's turf track. Forte Dei Marmi, the 6-1 fifth choice in the race rallied from last place to win her first ever stakes race. The British born Forte Dei Marmi tracked down Stormy Lord who held the lead for a good portion of the race only to finish second and the 3-2 favorite Scalo who finished third.
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