Updated on 09/15/2011 12:42PM

Saturday Stakes Recap (7/28)


Unbridled Elaine wins first graded stakes

OCEANPORT, N.J. - Unbridled Elaine has been simply dominating since being transferred to the barn of David Vance.

Unbridled Elaine won her first graded stakes, romping to victory in the Grade 2 $250,000 Monmouth Park Breeders' Cup Oaks on Saturday. Unbridled Elaine covered the 1 1/8-mile Oaks distance in 1:51.02. Unrestrained was 3 1/2 lengths back in second. Indy Glory made up ground late for third. Unbridled Elaine paid $3.60 as the 4-5 favorite and topped a $27.60 exacta.

Unbridled Elaine was making her second start for Vance, after being moved from Dallas Stewart's barn. In her first start for Vance, she easily won the Iowa Oaks on July 5. Unbridled Elaine is now 5-1-0 in seven starts, with her only out-of-the money finish a fourth in the Grade 1 Acorn at Belmont.

"I thought she ran a super race," Vance said. "She's got a lot of potential, and she was very impressive today."

Unbridled Elaine broke well under Eibar Coa, rating in fourth off a mild pace set by Quick Blue and Kain's Prize. Nearing the final turn, she made her move past Quick Blue and took the lead turning for home. Astrid seemed ready to rally on the outside of Unbridled Elaine, but flattened out in the stretch, finishing fourth. Unbridled Elaine cruised to the wire in the stretch, never facing a late challenge.

"Coming to the three-eighths pole, I knew I was the winner," said Coa, who was aboard the daughter of Unbridled's Song for the first time.

o Shutup and Dance ($3.60) went wire to wire as the 4-5 favorite, defeating three other rivals in the $75,000 Blue Sparkler Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs. Shutup and Dance, trained by Richard Mandella and owned by Diamond A Racing, crossed the wire in 1:10.52 over a fast track.

- Ryan Goldberg

Calder: Tv Sports Director wins

MIAMI, Fla. - Tv Sports Director, a former claimer whose fortunes have soared since trainer Reed Combest switched him to the grass, completed a meteoric rise to the top of the local 3-year-old turf division with an easy five-length victory over Sword Chief in the $50,000 Roman Brother Stakes. The victory also avenged Tv Sports Director's last defeat, to Built Up, who finished a disappointing fourth as the even-money favorite Saturday.

Combest claimed Tv Sports Director for owner Ann M Lagrosa for $25,000 out of a maiden race at Gulfstream Park on March 2. A son of Line in the Sand, Tv Sports Director was winless until his second start on grass, but has now won five of his last seven starts, all on turf. He is also perfect in three races since being equipped with blinkers.

Despite breaking from the extreme outside post in a field of nine 3-year-olds, Tv Sports Director easily cleared the field for the lead approaching the first turn, then set a leisurely pace of 24.56 seconds, 49.64 and 1:13.56, while under a rating hold by jockey Jose Rivera II. The lead quickly grew to five lengths once Rivera set down Tv Sports Director in early stretch, after which the pair was never threatened.

Sword Chief rallied from between horses to be second, four lengths before the 45-1 Connot, who stumbled at the start. Built Up came up empty through the stretch and finished a tiring fourth.

Tv Sports Director paid $7.60 after covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.58 over a firm course.

"I knew he was a good horse all along but just took time to develop," said Combest. "I put blinkers on two races back at the recommendation of both the jockey and exercise rider because he got to looking around."

* Dancing Guy posted his first victory in nearly a year when slipping through along the rail to register a popular five-length decision over Western Honors in the $35,530 Amos Handicap. Cornelio Velasquez was aboard Dancing Guy for owner-trainer Newcomb Green. The winner paid $7.20 as the tepid choice in a field of nine.

- Mike Welsch

Finger Lakes: Sweet Ricky rallies

Sweet Ricky rallied to a 1 1/4-length victory over Personal Pro, half of the favored entry, in Saturday's $148,867 New York Derby at Finger Lakes.

Personal Pro and Solar Deputy, who finished fifth, were sent off at 7-10 on the strength of Solar Deputy's victory in the Mike Lee at Belmont June 30.

Sweet Ricky paid $7.80. He is owned by Robert Perez and trained by Alfredo Callejas.

- Ira Kaplan

Philadelphia Park: Sandy gets trip

Say Florida Sandy and jockey Aaron Gryder took advantage of a perfect trip to win the Grade 3 $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup by 2 1/4 lengths over Wake at Noon. Max's Pal took third in the four-horse field, with Iron Punch, last year's Philadelphia Park BC winner, last.

Say Florida Sandy, a 7-year-old trained by Juan Serey, has won five of 10 starts this year, including three stakes. He has earned more than $1.6 million for owner John Rotella.

Say Florida Sandy raced in third down the backstretch of the six-furlong Philadelphia Park BC, as Wake at Noon and Max's Pal dueled through fractions of 22.06 seconds and 44.46. Wake at Noon put away Max's Pal turning for home, but Say Florida Sandy flew past him on the outside and crossed the wire in 1:08.51.

Say Florida Sandy, the favorite, paid $4.

- Ira Kaplan

Woodbine: Jade Eyed comes through

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jade Eyed justified her favoritism with a decisive 2 1/2-length victory over Matter of Law in the $134,625 Nandi Stakes at Woodbine.

Jade Eyed pressed Asfarasyoucansea through an opening quarter of 22.92 seconds in the six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies. She began to edge away at the quarter pole and easily held off Matter of Law in the final furlong before stopping the timer in 1:13.50. Parisia finished third in the eight-horse field.

A claim of foul by the rider of Matter of Law alleging interference heading into the far turn was disallowed by the stewards.

Gerry Olguin rode Jade Eyed, who returned $4.90 while earning $80,775 for Stronach Stable and trainer Kevin Attard.

- Ron Gierkink