10/03/2011 11:03AM

Trip Notes: Jockey Gold Cup, Kelso, Lady's Secret replays and more

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Saturday, Oct. 1 | Sunday, Oct. 2

Parx
Cotillion (race 10)

Plum Pretty gamely won the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks but failed to win her next 3 and seemed to lose her place among the 3-year-old filly elite. She remedied that situation here with a powerful victory that should send her into the Grade 1 BC Ladies' Classic as a legitimate threat. She bounced right out to the lead, took some pressure from Love and Pride to the top of the lane but then blew the race wide open with a powerful stretch run to draw away. It's Tricky, who had beaten Plum Pretty in both the Grade 1 CCA Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama, stalked the pace, commenced her run into the lane but try as she might the winner just kept getting farther away. Daring Reality was last early and kept to her task to get third. Buster's Ready sat back but never really mustered a run. Love and Pride pressed the winner early but weakened from those efforts.

Belmont
Flower Bowl (race 5)

A wide trip and very soggy ground could not keep Stacelita from confirming beyond a doubt she's the nation's top grass distaffer. Coming off a smashing win in the Grade 1 Beverly D., she was no less impressive here. She bided her time early behind the crawling pace of Dynaslew while staying well off the rail, moved toward the inside to save some ground going into the first turn, swung out again going down the backside, moved up easily going to the far turn, stayed out in the clear, powered past her rivals, and won geared down. She's the obvious favorite for the Grade 1 BC F&M Turf, probably even if some big Euro shows. Distorted Legacy stalked the slow pace, gamely chased the winner into the lane, was no match for that rival but was clearly 2nd best. Dynaslew set the slow pace but weakened once passed by the top 2. Deluxe prompted the pace but gave way badly. The ground likely worked against her.

Belmont
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (race 6)

It wasn't as easy as the Grade 1 Man o' War or Grade 1 Arlington Million, but Cape Blanco still got the job done and likely locked up champion grass horse honors. The European-based runner shipped to the U.S. for those 2 prior wins and again here he showed the tactical speed to hound pacesetter Mission Approved through slow splits (again, the course was a bog). He easily took over into the lane but then had to show courage to just get to the line before a determined Dean's Kitten. The close finish was probably more a function of the course condition rather than distance as Cape Blanco won the Group 1 Irish Derby going 1 1/2 miles before. He would be the horse to beat in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf should he opt to return for a 4th trip to the U.S. – though that also depends on what other Euro power comes for the race. Dean's Kitten, 3rd to Cape Blanco in the Arlington Million, was just behind the winner from the start, gamely chased after that rival into the lane and closed bravely but just ran out of ground while much the best of the rest. Grassy was fairly one-paced and stayed on for 3rd though he was never really at threat. Defending champ Winchester was last from the start and never made a move.

Belmont
Vosburgh (race 7)

What was deemed a summit of sorts among some sprint powers was turned on its head as longshots dominated. The race lost some luster when last year's Grade 1 BC Sprint winner and sprint champion Big Drama scratched with a fever. Meantime, Giant Ryan bounced right out to a clear lead, made easier when West Coast speedsters Euroears was significantly bothered at the start, remained clear into the lane and doggedly held off a determined Force Freeze. No reason he shouldn't go on to the Sprint after this. Force Freeze chased the winner from the start, kept after him gamely and closed the gap but just couldn't get to him. Caixa Eletronica broke slowly to be last early, pitched very wide into the lane and finished well. Trappe Shot, the favorite, stalked the pace, loomed a threat into the lane but couldn't sustain his run. Euroears was unable to recover from his trouble at the start and was never a factor.

Belmont
Kelso (race 8)

Uncle Mo put on a smashing display to confirm he is again back to the old, pre-ill Uncle Mo. He went right out to a clear lead, set fast splits, rebuffed a brief challenge from Jackson Bend into the lane and drew clear to win geared down. While this race proved he's doing well it didn't prove anything in terms of distance and his target remains the 1 1/4-mile Grade 1 BC Classic. He also had things all his way and wasn't facing the toughest field so questions remain. Jackson Bend was last early in the small field, came with a threatening run into the lane to briefly give Uncle Mo a scare but couldn't stay with that rival in the lane while finishing far in front of the others. Jersey Town, last year's Grade 1 Cigar Mile winner, chased Uncle Mo from the start but couldn't keep pace.

Belmont
Beldame (race 9)

Havre de Grace dominated the proceedings here and may well have earned herself another crack at the boys in the Grade 1 BC Classic and a shot at Horse of the Year. She stalked the pace of Life at Ten, moved up on her own energy on the far turn, took over into the lane and opened up to win with complete authority. Royal Delta, facing elders for the first time, was just behind the winner early, moved up to press the pace, saw Havre de Grace roll past on the far turn, tried gamely to chase but was no match for that rival. She would still merit respect in the Grade 1 Ladies' Classic should Havre de Grace indeed opt to tackle the boys. Satans Quick Chick was last early and plugged along for 3rd without being a factor. Life at Ten went right out to a clear lead but gave way readily once headed.

Belmont
Jockey Club Gold Cup (race 10)

Flat Out showed he's among the handicap division elite as he notched his first Grade 1 win and punched his ticket to Churchill for the Grade 1 BC Classic. He sat 4th early, steadily advanced, made his move on the far turn, took over from tiring pacesetter Rodman and drew off  to win nicely. He'll have to improve to win the Classic but that's not out of reach. Drosselmeyer, winner of the Grade 1 Belmont here in 2010, sat back and came with a nice run in the lane, though he never really seemed a threat to get to the winner. Stay Thirsty, the Grade 1 Travers winner who was taking on elders for the first time, found these waters a bit deeper as he stalked but stayed basically one-paced throughout.

Hoosier
Indiana Oaks (race 11)

Juanita hadn't run in a couple months but this one-time claimer  was ready for her best as she dominated this race. She used her speed to take command right at the start, set a modest pace, began extending her lead going to the far turn and then just kept increasing her margin from there. Withgreatpleasure was last early, came with a smart run into the lane to briefly look dangerous, but couldn't make up ground on the winner while much the best of the others. Daisy Devine stalked the pace but never really made a move. A Z Warrior, the heavy 4-5 favorite, pressed the winner early but quickly began losing ground to that rival and wasn't a factor thereafter.

Hoosier
Indiana Derby (race 12)

Wilburn continued his ascent as he notched his 3rd straight win and upset Grade 1 Preakness winner Shackleford and Grade 1 King's Bishop winner Caleb's Posse in the process.  Wilburn stalked in 4th early while Decisive Moment set a modest pace, moved up with Shackleford to challenge for the lead turning for home, quickly got some separation from that rival and continued to draw off for the impressive tally. Wilburn was highly regarded this spring when he made his debut, too late for the Triple Crown, but he may be delivering on that promise now. Shackleford, the favorite, stalked the pace, moved up with the winner as if he was going to be a big factor but couldn't keep up. Caleb's Posse sat back, came with a steady run, but never really was a threat. Could be he's best around one turn.

Santa Anita
Norfolk (race 5)

Creative Cause lost to Drill in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity but got his revenge here. He  dogged pacesetter Ruler of Dubai from the start, bided his time to the far turn, moved up eagerly on his own power with Basmati and Drill chasing to his outside, took command into the lane and blasted clear to win impressively. He certainly belongs in the discussion for the Grade 1 BC Juvenile. Drill lost nothing in defeat. He sat a few lengths off the lead, not far behind Creative Cause, moved up nicely on the turn set to challenge but couldn't keep up with Creative Cause in the lane. No reason he shouldn't still plan a trip to Churchill. Ruler of Dubai set a modest pace, had no answer for when the top 2 went past, but kept to his task nicely to hold 3rd. Basmati came with a strong wide run into the lane but couldn't sustain it.

Santa Anita
Lady's Secret (race 6)

Blind Luck's championship hopes took a hit as she finished off the board. The 3-year-old filly Zazu boosted her stock with a smart tally. Zazu was last early, steadily advanced, swung wide into the lane and blasted home to get the decision. The Grade 1 BC Ladies' Classic is a logical next step, and with Havre de Grace eyeing the boys and the Classic and Blind Luck now out of the Ladies' Classic, she could have a big say. Ultra Blend ran yet another strong race, biding her time and finishing well – she just couldn't outkick the winner. Her connections had stated before her target is the Grade 1 BC F&M Sprint, and the way she's going she deserves the utmost respect there. Great Hot stalked the pace, loomed a big threat but couldn't outfinish the top 2. Ask the Moon dogged pacesetter Champagne d'Oro but weakened from those efforts. Blind Luck was well back early, as usual, and never mounted any sort of run and was basically eased in the final furlong.

Santa Anita
Goodwood (race 7)

Game On Dude won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap here in the spring and confirmed his love affair with this track with another game tally. Of course, it didn't hurt that morning-line favorite Acclamation scratched. Game On Dude pressed pacesetter Tres Borrachos from the start, got the better of that rival on the turn, opened up and had enough left to get to the line before hard-charging Awesome Gem. He figures to next try the Grade 1 BC Classic. Awesome Gem lagged back, as usual, and finished smartly but just ran out of ground. Coil, a 3-year-old facing elders, came off a dull Grade 1 Travers run but improved here as he stalked the pace and finished 3rd. Still, he got a dream trip, seemed well spotted to challenge but couldn't produce the needed run.

Santa Anita
Yellow Ribbon (race 10)

Stacelita proved earlier this day she's the best grass distaffer in the country, and Dubawi Heights, who chased her home when 2nd in the Grade 1 Beverly D., confirmed here she's a solid No. 2. She used her speed to chase Turning Top through slow splits, went past that rival into the lane and gamely held off 2 hard-charging rivals. This likely means she's earned another crack at Stacelita in the BC F&M Turf next month. Cozi Rosie lagged back as usual, commenced her run on the far turn but had to steady – which may have been her undoing. She was able to get clear, got going again and finished strongly for 2nd. Hard to say if the trouble cost her the win, but it certainly cost her some ground and maybe the ability to challenge Dubawi Heights earlier. Harmonious likewise was well back and put in a strong rally but wasn't good enough. Malibu Pier stalked the pace, seemingly in a good spot, but gave way in the lane.