Bet Preakness Stakes 146
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Las Vegas, NV - It's Monday - that means Weekend Recap time in the world of horse racing. There was terrific action all over the country this past weekend with inaugural races being run, exciting upsets and even a track record or two. Two races were run at Santa Anita, two took place at Gulfstream and two went down at Sam Houston. Let's break down all the action starting at Gulfstream, home of the only "Road to the Kentucky Derby" points race this weekend.
The Grade 3 $400,000 Holy Bull Stakes was contested on Saturday at Gulfstream Park - a 1 1/16 mile race featuring Kentucky Derby hopefuls attempting to gather much needed points in order to qualify for the Big One in May. Itsmyluckyday upset reigning Eclipse Award winner and early favorite for the Run For the Roses Shanghai Bobby by two lengths track record fashion, earning the maximum 10 points in the process. The previously undefeated Shanghai Bobby was second, earning four points while 42-1 shot Clearly Now finished a very impressive third. Joshua's Comprise, Bern Identity, Frac Daddy, Dewey Square, Sr. Quisqueyano, Tulira Castle, and Fredericksburg completed the order of finish.
As expected Kauai Katie emerged victorious in the $200,000 Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes by 5 1/2 lengths in wire-to-wire fashion at Gulfstream Park on Saturday to make it two in a row on the Florida track. My Happy Face finished a somewhat distant second while Pow Wow Wow was a very good third. Fusaichiswonderful, who was unbeaten in her five starts in Puerto Rico and was making her first start off the island, finished fourth, followed by Spring Venture, a Sovereign Award finalist, and Ashlee's Princess.
At Santa Anita, Bob Baffert trained Fiftyshadesofhay made a triumphant return to dirt in the $100,000 Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes with a 5 3/4 length score in the 1 1/16 mile race. Sent off at 6-1 odds Fiftyshadesofhay easily bested Heir Kitty who was second and 3-2 choice Scarlet Strike who finished third. Switch to the Lead was next, while Escape Act was eased in the stretch finishing fifth in the field of five. Branding was scratched prior to post time.
Also at Santa Anita on Saturday the $250,000 Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes was run for older fillies and mares. Favored 3-2 choice Teddy's Promise came through and thanked owners Ted and Julie Nichols for not retiring her prior to this racing season with a three length score - her first graded stakes win since the La Brea Stakes in December 2011. Sugarinthemorning, runner-up in last year's Santa Monica rallied from fourth in the lane for Martin Garcia, and got up for second in the final strides over Kindle by half a length. Distracting held on for fourth. Distracting was followed by Belle of the Hall, Journaliste, and Pink Lollipops.
At Sam Houston Racetrack in Houston, Texas the inaugural $400,000 Sam Houston Ladies Classic was won in dominating fashion by 3-2 favorite Joyful Victory on Saturday night in track record time for her first win in nearly a year. Brushed by a Star who defeated Joyful Victory in her last two starts finished 4 1/4 lengths behind in second while Sisterly Love was another 1 3/4 lengths back in third. She's All In took fourth, followed by Lookinforchange and Summer Applause, who lost all chance on the backstretch when jockey Miguel Mena came out of the irons.
9-5 favorite Swift Warrior made his first-ever start at Sam Houston Race Park a successful one Jan. 26, when he beat nine rivals in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup Stakes in a pacesetting effort. The victory was his third career stakes win and his second since last September. Reigning Jamaica Handicap winner King David finished second while 5-2 second choice Willcox Inn was third. Seal Cove, the 3-1 third choice, finished fourth. Following Seal Cove were Ocean Seven, Lockout, Marinous, Holiday Promise, Capture the Flag, and Red Lead.
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