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Saturday Stakes Recaps
Dat You Miz Blue topples Dream Supreme in Vagrancy
ELMONT, N.Y. - Dat You Miz Blue completely dominated Dream Supreme, one of the country's best sprint fillies, by winning Saturday's $106,800 Vagrancy Handicap by 6 3/4 lengths on a sultry summer day at Belmont Park.
Dream Supreme, the 4-5 favorite and 122-pound highweight, finished second, two lengths in front of Katz Me If You Can. Finder's Fee and Lucky Livi completed the order of finish.
Dat You Miz Blue sprang to the lead from her outside post in the Grade 3 Vagrancy and ran an opening quarter in 21.97 seconds. Dream Supreme forced the pace from the rail for the first half-mile, which was run in 44.32, but couldn't keep up with Dat You Miz Blue, who opened up when the field straightened for home.
Bill Mott, Dream Supreme's trainer, offered no excuses. "We tried [the winner] at the five-sixteenths pole, but couldn't manage."
The final time for the 6 1/2-furlongs Vagrancy was 1:15.32 over a fast track.
John Velazquez, aboard the winner, said he tapped Dat You Miz Blue once and smooched at her early in the lane.
"She's just so impressive; she's getting better and better," Velazquez said. "She's relaxing now in the gate and doesn't get so nervous."
Winning trainer Jimmy Jerkens said, "When I had her last year, she was breaking all screwed up. Now she breaks much better. When they're as strong as she is, they get more confidence."
Dat You Miz Blue, owned by Cynthia Knight, paid $5.50 and carried 116 pounds. The Vagrancy was Dat You Miz Blue's first graded win. Earlier, the 4-year-old New York-bred won the restricted Broadway.
Proud Man wins Hill Prince
In a thrilling finish, Proud Man ran down Navesink in the final yards to win the $114,600 Hill Prince by a neck over the late-charging Package Store. Navesink held on for third, a head behind the runner-up.
After the winner's-circle photo was taken, Proud Man was loaded into the horse ambulance while bleeding from a cut to his right hind pastern.
Jimmy Iselin, one of Proud Man's co-owners, said the cut wasn't serious. Rene Douglas, who rode the winner, said, "Before the start of the race, he was a little anxious and kicked the side of the gate."
Proud Man ($9.20) ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.25 over a firm turf course.
The Grade 3 Hill Prince was Proud Man's third graded stakes win this season for Harry Benson, who trains the 3-year-old colt for a partnership.
- Karen M. Johnson
El Gran Papa by a neck in Dallas Turf Cup
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Trainer Bobby Frankel and jockey Garrett Gomez teamed to win their second major stakes in less than a week when El Gran Papa nipped Dignitas Dancer at the wire Sunday to win the $300,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park. Last Sunday at Hollywood Park, Frankel and Gomez teamed to win the $500,000 Californian Stakes with Skimming.
El Gran Papa ($12.80) raced near the back of the pack in the early stages of the Dallas Turf Cup while Vergennes set the pace under pressure from Dignitas Dancer. At the top of the stretch, El Gran Papa swung outside of horses and closed with good energy to win by a neck. "Just as I swung him out, they kept fanning us out all the way down the lane," said Gomez. "Finally, in about the last 80 yards, he was able to see what he had to run at, and he hit another gear for me."
El Gran Papa covered the 1 1/8 miles over firm turf in 1:49.30. Nat's Big Party was another three-quarters of a length back in third, while Del Mar Show, the even-money favorite, finished fourth. Frankel, who won the 1999 Dallas Turf Cup with Martiniquais, said El Gran Papa could start next in the Grade 3, $250,000 Arlington Handicap at Arlington Park on July 28.
- Mary Rampellini
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Starrer gave owner George Krikorian his first win in a graded stakes in the $100,000 Princess Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Ridden by Chris McCarron for trainer David Hofmans, Starrer caught Love at Noon, the 3-5 favorite, in deep stretch to win the Grade 2 Princess Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths before a crowd of 9,053.
Starrer ($9.80) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.90. Affluent finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind Love at Noon.
Affluent led to the final turn when Love at Noon challenged along the rail. Starrer was fifth early, but moved up to third on the final turn. McCarron swung Starrer wide in early stretch and caught Love at Noon in the final sixteenth.
The Princess, a prep for the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks on July 14, was Starrer's second stakes win. She won her maiden race in the Santa Paula Stakes last April at Santa Anita.
- Steve Andersen
Pimlico: Longshot wires Ravens BC
Lightning Paces led every step of the way over a muddy track to win the Grade 3, $200,000 Baltimore Ravens Breeders' Cup Handicap at Pimlico.
Trained by John Robb and ridden by Greg Hutton, Lightning Paces ($15.80) finished three-quarters of a length ahead of the fast-closing favorite, Milwaukee Brew, after covering 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.52.
Lightning Paces had the ideal running style on a day when speed held well. Said Robb, "That's his game, to go to the front, so that's just what we did."
Lightning Paces is now 10 for 26 lifetime with earnings of $460,007.
- Joe DeVivo
Monmouth: Batique sets course record
OCEANPORT, N.J. - Batique, an 8-1 outsider, broke sharply to the early lead and wired an eight-horse field in the Grade 3, $100,000 Vinery Matchmaker, covering the 1 1/8 miles on the Haskell turf course in a course-record 1:46.19. Melody Queen made a late run for second, 2 1/2 lengths behind Batique. Gaviola, the 4-5 favorite, finished seventh.
Batique ($19.80), trained by Laird George and ridden by Jose Ferrer, set the early pace while being tracked by Gaviola. Turning for home, Gaviola moved within a head of Batique, but the eventual winner kicked into another gear and opened up. Lucky Lune, the 3-1 second choice, finished third. Batique paid $19.80.
Earlier, Marq of Beauty ($9.60) went to the lead under Chris DeCarlo and never looked back, fighting off a late challenge to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Diversa in the $50,000 Captive Miss Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on turf.
In the $50,000 Jersey Breeders' Handicap, Sea of Tranquility ($6.60) won by a nose over the 3-5 favorite, Thistyranthasclass.
- Ryan Goldberg
Arlington: Trip takes Chicago BC
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Ridden by Craig Perret, Trip raced close to a scorching pace set by Hidden Assets, then collared Hidden Assets inside the last furlong and edged away to win the $157,270 Chicago Breeders' Cup at Arlington.
Trip, trained by Frank Brothers, paid $9 to win as the third choice. Favored Rose of Zollern, a late-runner, had little chance to win on a speed-favoring and lightning-fast racing surface, and finished third. Trip was timed in 1:22.18 for seven furlongs.- Marcus Hersh
Calder: Soft course helps Queen of Oz
MIAMI - Trainer Luke Poulos prayed for rain and got what he wanted, a wet Calder turf course, that helped his Queen of Oz rally to a 1 1/2-length victory over 9-5 favorite Silver Bandana in the $50,000 Aspidistra Handicap.
Queen of Oz had never hit the board in four previous grass outings, but she relished the softer going, circling wide into the stretch after trailing the field for six furlongs and outfinishing Silver Bandana. Lady Brook, who had a clear lead near midstretch, tired to be third.
"She loves the soft turf," said Poulos "In fact, I was going to scratch her if the race was to be run over a firm course. We waited, prayed for rain and got it."
Queen of Oz paid $23.80 after covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.76.
- Mike Welsch
Stampede: Fancy As masters Derby
CALGARY, Alberta - Fancy As did the expected, capturing Stampede Park's $100,000 Alberta Derby as the 1-2 favorite, unleashing his patented stretch drive under Richard Hamel to post a two-length victory over Baie Comeau on a muddy track.
Fancy As ($3) covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:46. The victory in the Grade 3 event was the eighth straight and ninth from 10 starts for Fancy As, trained by Red Smith.
Hamel had to await the deliberations of the stewards after Rory Noel, who was forced to check at the quarter pole aboard Baie Comeau, lodged claim of foul that was disallowed.
Sixthirtyjoe finished a half-length back of Baie Comeau in third.
- Barry Buker
Woodbine: Expected Hour wins debut
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Expected Hour, a first-time starter, lived up to trainer Mark Casse's expectations when he won the $110,200 Victoria Stakes.
Expected Hour hugged the rail and stalked the pace set by heavily favored Spy Hill, awaited room at the top of the stretch, then darted to a clear lead inside the eighth pole.
Expected Hour ($8), ridden by Patrick Husbands, won the five-furlong race by 2 1/4 lengths over the stretch-running Tepu Sultan. Spy Hill held on for third. The final time was 58.80 seconds.
The co-featured Carotene Stakes, worth $107,000, was won by Bristol Pistol, who won the one-mile turf event by 1 3/4 lengths over longshot Red Satin Slippers and Chicago shipper Great Fever. Bristol Pistol, ridden by Na Somsanith, paid $6 as the 2-1 favorite and ran the distance on firm turf in 1:37.41.
- Jennifer Morrison
Prairie Meadows: Kerry Blue romps
ALTOONA, Iowa - Kerry Blue, under Larry Sterling, rallied to her first stakes victory by a widening 6 1/4 lengths over Supreme Song in the $50,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows.
Kerry Blue ($9.60) covered the mile in a stakes record 1:37.71. Supreme Song gamely held second, finishing a half-length in front of Open Minded.
Kerry Blue is now 3 for 9 for trainer Jeff Lynn.
- Dave Basler
Philadelphia: Mare in stakes form
Six-year-old Arty'svirginiagirl ($11.20) won for only the second time since she was named Pennsylvania's outstanding older female in 1999 in the $50,000 Pistol Packer Handicap for state-bred fillies and mares at Philadelphia Park. It was the third stakes win at the track in the past three weeks for jockey Victor Molina.
- Joe DeVivo
Lincoln: Sweet Fantastic again
LINCOLN, Neb. - Sweet Fantastic posted her second straight stakes victory for trainer David Grimes with a front-running win in the $13,375 Matchmaker Handicap at Lincoln.
Sweet Fantastic ($5.60) won by 2 1/2 lengths over Sandpit Dancer in a meet-best 1:36.80 for the mile. Mytrump was five lengths back in third.
Winduchess rallied to be fourth but was pulled up after the race and vanned off. Trainer Brian Roberts reported that she had re-bowed a tendon.
- Bill Hodtwalker