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TODAY July 25, 2014
Carlo Vaccarezza confirmed Little Alexis for the Grade 1 Test Stakes next weekend at Saratoga after the unbeaten filly breezed five furlongs Friday in a swift 58.80 seconds over her home track at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Fiftyshadesofgold worked four furlongs in 48.40 seconds Friday morning at Churchill Downs, her final breeze before running in the Grade 1, $500,000 Test Stakes here on Aug. 2.
Golden Ticket, whose finest hour came at Saratoga two summers ago when he dead-heated for first with Alpha in the Grade 1 Travers, will finally get a second chance to compete at the Spa in next Saturday’s Grade 1 Whitney.
It was a fruitless journey to Japan for Pants On Fire and a long trail back to the races. Pants On Fire finally launches his comeback Sunday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Monmouth Cup on the Haskell Invitational undercard.
Wise Dan’s five-furlong move in 1:03.65 over the Oklahoma turf course Friday morning at sun-splashed Saratoga was another step toward a comeback for the two-time Horse of the Year.
Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. will aim to follow up on the success of its recently-completed 2-year-old sale season in 2015, with a new schedule that includes an expansion of the March sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Goldencents is established at the top level, with multiple Grade 1 wins. Big Macher is the new kid in town, a former maiden claimer who has developed into a graded stakes winner and is trying Grade 1 competition for the first time.
The biggest stakes event to date at Belterra Park will take place Sunday with the running of the $75,000 Norm Barron Queen City Oaks.
Santa Anita has raised the purses of 10 stakes run during its autumn meeting from Sept. 26 to Nov. 2, a season that includes the Breeders’ Cup races on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
DRF handicapper Dan Illman takes a closer look at juveniles running at Saratoga.