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Updated on 09/16/2011 8:24AM
Saturday Stakes Roundup
Megans Bluff wins Mint Julep again
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Megans Bluff won the $112,900 Mint Julep Handicap for the second year in a row Saturday at Churchill Downs, holding off a stretch-long bid by Cozy Island to capture the Grade 3 race by a neck.
Megans Bluff, the 118-pound highweight in a field of eight fillies and mares, returned $9.60 as third choice. She ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.87 over a good turf. Cozy Island finished another three lengths ahead of Solvig, the 2-1 favorite.
Megans Bluff was ridden by Craig Perret, who won three other races on the Saturday card at Churchill. Megans Bluff is owned by James Routsong of Dayton, Ohio and trained by John Hennig.
Cozy Island, the fourth choice, ridden by Brian Peck, made a strong outside bid leaving the far turn but was unable to get past the winner.
Megans Bluff, who won the 2001 Mint Julep with Perret aboard, has won 8 of 26 career starts and earned over $740,000.
The 8-5 exacta paid $49.40; the 8-5-10 trifecta paid $139.20.
* Perfect Drift, the gelding who skipped the Preakness after finishing third in the Kentucky Derby, had his first work since the Derby, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.40 Saturday at the Trackside training annex.
- Marty McGee
Bay Meadows: Peu a Peu sets record
SAN MATEO, Calif. - Peu a Peu ($7.40) sat off a slow pace set by entrymate Polaire and rallied to defeat defending champion Janet by two lengths and break a 23-year-old course record in the Grade 3 Yerba Buena Breeders' Cup Handicap Saturday at Bay Meadows.
The German-bred Peu a Peu, making her United States debut for trainer Bobby Frankel, set a Longden Turf Course record of 2:16.39 for the 1 3/8-mile race, breaking the record of 2:16.40 set by Golden Doc Ray on Oct. 6, 1979.
Polaire set slow fractions of 25.89 seconds, 50.76, and 1:15.74, as Peu a Peu was last early in the field of six.
"I talked to Bobby, and he said to get her comfortable," winning jockey Russell Baze said. "He said when I let her go she had a good turn of foot. She was easy to do anything with."
Baze was "a little concerned" about the slow pace, "but there was nothing I could do about that."
Baze got rolling at the three-eighths pole, splitting horses and moving three-wide into the lane. Peu a Peu had little trouble rolling past Janet and Polaire for the win.
Janet finished a nose in front of Racene, who closed well. Racene edged Polaire by a head for third.
"They sent her to Bobby at the end of last year," Frankel's assistant Humberto Ascanio said. "Bobby took his time, like he does with all European horses. He put some weight on her, then started her back.
"Before he went to New York [to prepare Medaglia d'Oro for the Preakness], he told me he was really confident."
Peu a Peu earned $55,000 to lift her career earnings to $85,887 for owner Gary Tanaka.
- Chuck Dybdal
Hollywood : September Secret wins
INGLEWOOD, Calif. - September Secret had little trouble handling her first stakes assignment in Saturday's $106,300 Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Always near the front, she pulled away in the stretch to win the seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies by four lengths despite not changing leads in the stretch.
"I wasn't going to worry about it," jockey Pat Valenzuela said. "She was getting to the wire all alone."
September Secret ($3.60) was challenged for the lead by Fun House, who raced along the rail. The pair ran the opening quarter-mile in 21.96 seconds, but Fun House was unable to keep up at the end of the backstretch. Affairs of State and Halo Tyra launched wide rallies on the turn, but never reached September Secret.
"I was getting pressure on the outside," Valenzuela said. "On the turn, everytime someone chirped, she would go on."
Valenzuela had September Secret two lengths in front in mid-stretch. She finished seven furlongs in 1:22.95.
"I thought she ran a big race for her fourth career start," Valenzuela said.
Affairs of State finished second, 2 1/2 lengths in front of Fun House, who was followed by Halo Tyra and No Turbulence.
Fun House was a disappointment. In March, she finished second in the Grade 3 La Habra Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita prior to finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn Park on April 12.
She was considered a threat to September Secret on her sprint form.
- Steve Andersen
Woodbine: Anglian Prince in upset
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Anglian Prince, the longest shot in the five-horse field, blew by heavy favorite Ford Every Stream early in the stretch and held off a late bid from Tails of the Crypt to win Saturday's Grade 3 Marine Stakes at Woodbine.
Racing in a tightly bunched field, Anglian Prince pressed the pace along the inside in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds, as Ford Every Stream set splits of 23.84 and 47.50 seconds.
Anglian Prince drew even with Fort Every Stream on the far turn, before drawing off for a 1 3/4-length victory under Jim McAleney.
Anglian Prince ran the distance in 1:44.03 and returned $48.30. He earned $97,650 of the $162,750 purse.
"This horse has been training well," said Mort Hardy, who trains Anglian Prince for Prime Acres Inc. "If he improves as much in the next month as he did in the last, there's no telling how good he'll be."
- Ron Gierkink
Calder: Wertz wins Carterista
MIAMI, Fla. - Wertz, by reputation a front-running turf horse, showed his versatility on Saturday when rallying from off the pace over a sloppy main track to defeat three rivals in Calder's $75,000 Carterista Handicap.
Wertz had won 11 of his previous 13 victories on grass, three of the wins coming in succession at the 2002 Gulfstream Park meet. But when heavy rains forced management to switch the Carterista from the turf to the wet main course, trainer Joe Calascibetta opted to keep Wertz in the race, which scratched down from 12 scheduled starters to a field of four.
Julio Garcia, who replaced Wertz's regular rider Eibar Coa, was content to sit second behind the pacesetting Viva Pentelicus in the opening five furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race.
Wertz drew alongside the leader and assumed command approaching the far turn, then drew off with authority to defeat runner-up Lavender's Lad by 8 1/4 lengths. Tour of the Cat, the 3-5 favorite, made a mild run entering the stretch then flattened out to finish third. Viva Pentelicus stopped to a walk and was eased across the wire.
Wertz returned $6.60 after covering the distance in 1:46.49 seconds.
"Originally, we thought about scratching, but as more and more horses came out I thought our chances improved so we decided to give it a try," said Calascibetta who trains Wertz for the Sunshine Thoroughbred Corp.
- Mike Welsch
Delaware: Nothing Flat prevails
New York-based trainer Nick Zito took four of his best 3-year-olds to Pimlico, including Preakness starters Straight Gin and Crimson Hero. One of Zito's other shippers who didn't go quite as far south as Baltimore may soon be considered among the 3-year-old stars of Zito's barn.
Nothing Flat, who has yet to finish worse than second in four career starts, made an impressive stakes debut by scoring a three-quarter length victory in the $75,000 Francis LaBelle Memorial at Delaware Park.
Patiently ridden by Eddie Martin, Nothing Flat ($9.60) sat back in last place through the first six furlongs in a field reduced to six 3-year-olds by four scratches.
Outstander, far back in the Arkansas Derby last time out, looked like a winner when he inherited the lead from the pacesetters and was 1 1/2 lengths in front with a furlong remaining. But Nothing Flat, fanned five wide on turn for home, cut into Outstandere's margin, and was drawing clear at the finish, covering one mile and 70 yards in 1:42.99.
Political Attack, the 3-2 favorite who scratched out of the $100,000 Woodlawn at Pimlico to run in the LaBelle, got cooked in a speed duel and faded to last.
- Joe DeVivo
Monmouth: Bold World rebounds
OCEANPORT, N.J. - Ronald Taylor said before the $50,000 Little Silver Stakes for 3-year-old fillies that Bold World's poor performance as the favorite in the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland in her previous race was, hopefully, a speed bump for the filly.
Bold World proved Taylor correct Saturday, cruising to a 5 1/4-length win over a sloppy main track, showing the fine form she displayed in three stakes wins before the Beaumont. Bold World, owned by Hardacre Farm, covered the six-furlong distance in 1:11.70 and paid $2.80. She improved to 5-1-0 in nine starts. Intent and Cherokee Girl completed the order of finish. The field was reduced to three horses from six because of the sloppy conditions.
"She bled pretty badly at Keeneland," Taylor said. "You never know how they're going to run back, but she had no problems today."
Bold World broke second from the gate, but quickly took the lead between horses under Joe Bravo and was never threatened from there. Bravo had Bold World under wraps all the way around the track, extending her lead as the two other entrants failed to make up ground. Bold World cruised to the wire and Intent finished a half-length ahead of Cherokee Girl.
Bold World started her 3-year-old season with three consecutive sprinting victories in Florida. She won the Dame Mystrieu in February at Gulfstream , the Ocala Breeders' Sale at Ocala a month later, and the Charon Stakes at Gulfstream four days after that. She won the three races by a combined 25 3/4 lengths.
In the Beaumont April 26, Bold World was the 6-5 favorite, but she faded quickly after the start and finished sixth.
* Jockey Joe Bravo tied the single-day win record Saturday, winning six races and becoming the first jockey in Monmouth Park history to win six races in a day twice. Only three other jockeys have won six races in a day at the track: Julie Krone, Chris Antley, and Walter Blum. Bravo previously won six races in a day on Aug. 31, 1994.
- Ryan Goldberg