US Racing Weekend Race Recaps

Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks. She beat three of those same rivals on Sunday ar Saratoga in the Coaching Club American Oaks (photo by Jordan Thomson).

Monomoy Girl winning the Kentucky Oaks. She beat three of those same rivals on Sunday ar Saratoga in the Coaching Club American Oaks (photo by Jordan Thomson).

While she wasn’t exactly moving like a tremendous machine, 4-MONOMOY GIRL may have taken another step on the path to greatness with a convincing score in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at Saratoga on Sunday.

Yes, she set a slow pace — 48.23 seconds for the opening half-mile — and, yes, the Equibase speed figure (99) was the second-lowest in eight years, but a win is a win is a win. And Monomoy Girl has now made eight trips to the winner’s circle from nine career starts and is undefeated as a three-year-old.

Despite receiving a surprising amount of support at the betting windows, 2-MIDNIGHT BISOU could do no better than second, while 1-CHOCOLATE MARTINI rallied from last-place at the first call to grab third.

“I put this race up there as high any of her other Grade I wins this year,” said winning trainer Brad Cox. “It wasn’t a big field, but it was a mile and an eighth. I think there’s a still a question mark if that’s her best distance, but she proved today that she can do it. She’s got speed and puts herself in the race.”

Monomoy Girl returned $3.00 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show; Midnight Bisou paid $2.40 and $2.10. Chocolate Martini was good for $4.30.

The $1 exacta (4-2) was worth $2.30, the 50-cent trifecta (4-2-1) paid $9.20 and the 10-cent superfecta (4-2-1-3) returned $2.90.

Eddie Read Stakes (G2) at Del Mar

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Catapult winning the Eddie Read Stakes at 21-1 (photo by Ernie Belmonte).

A furious stretch drive saw 6-CATAPULT light up the Del Mar tote board following the running on the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) on Sunday. The son of Kitten’s Joy, who was sent to post at 21-1, was in sixth-place with a furlong to go, but flew late to win by a neck over 5-SHARP SAMURAI, who was scratched from the San Diego Handicap in favor of Sunday’s feature. It was another neck back to 10-PRIME ATTRACTION in third.

Catapult paid $44.00 to win, $14.40 to place and $8.60 to show; Sharp Samurai returned $4.60 and $4.00 as the 3-1 betting favorite, while Prime Attraction was good for $6.60 at odds of nearly 10-1.

The $1 exacta (6-5) was worth $112.50, the 50-cent trifecta (6-5-10) paid $729.65 and the 10-cent superfecta (6-5-10-4) returned $680.00.

San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar

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Catalina Cruiser cruises in the San Diego Handicap (photo by Ernie Belmonte).

Although the field was decimated by scratches, which included last year’s winner Accelerate, it was still hard not to be impressed — at least visually — by 1-CATALINA CRUISER’s performance in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday.

Yes, the son of Union Rags earned just a 118 Equibase speed figure — the lowest since 2015, when Catch a Flight recorded a 108 prior to finishing second to Beholder in the Pacific Classic, the last race of his career — but his 6 ¾-length win came in just the third start of his career and his first try around two turns.

“This horse’s nickname was ‘the best horse nobody knows about,'” trainer John Sadler said. “And then today we changed it to ‘the next big thing.’ We’ve loved this horse from day one. He’s shown us a lot — a lot — of potential. We’ve had to be patient with him, but today he showed us what we thought he could do.”

Racing second throughout the 1 1/16-mile test was 2-DR. DORR, who held off 9-DABSTER. Only two other horses made it to the starting gate — 4-TWO THIRTY FIVE, who finished fourth, and 10-HARLAN PUNCH, who was a distant fifth and last.

Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Catalina Crusier returned $4.60 to win, $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Dr. Dorr paid $3.40 and $2.60. Dabster was good for $2.60.

The $1 exacta (1-2) was worth $6.70, the 50-cent trifecta (1-2-9) paid $9.20 and the 10-cent superfecta (1-2-9-4) returned $2.80, as the horses finished in the exact order of their odds.

San Clemente Stakes (G2) at Del Mar

War Heroine hangs on to win the San Clemente (G2) at Del Mar (photo by Ernie Belmonte).

War Heroine hangs on to win the San Clemente at Del Mar (photo by Ernie Belmonte).

In a race that saw the top five finishers separated by less than 1 ½ lengths, 10-WAR HEROINE held on to win Saturday’s San Clemente (G2) at Del Mar by a neck over the hard-charging 14-OLLIE’S CANDY, who passed three horses and made up 3 ¾ lengths in the final eighth of a mile. 2-MS BAD BEHAVIOR, the 5-2 favorite, finished third after stalking the winner throughout the one-mile journey.

“She’s an extremely fast filly — extremely fast,” jockey Tyler Baze said of War Heroine. “But it isn’t so much about speed. It’s about how they’re expending their energy. She was doing it well today.

“I knew she was good for a mile. She’s all heart. She loves to stick her neck out and win.”

The daughter on Lonhro (AUS)-War Tigress returned $13.80 to win, $7.80 to place and $4.80 to show; Ollie’s Candy paid $8.60 and $5.00; Ms Bad Behavior was good for $3.20.

The $1 exacta (10-14) was worth $68.20, the 50-cent trifecta (10-14-2) paid $111.85 and the 10-cent superfecta (10-14-2-5) returned $648.54.

Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga

Chad Brown saddled the first- and third-place finishers in the Diana Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.

Chad Brown saddled the first- and third-place finishers in the Diana Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.

After being 28 lengths back at the first call of her last race — the 1 ¼-mile New York Stakes (G2) — 1-SISTERCHARLIE was just 5 ½ lengths back after the opening half-mile on Saturday, and the change of tactics worked, as the daughter of Myboycharlie (IRE) was able to lurch past 5-ULTRA BRAT in the final strides to win the 1 1/8-mile Diana Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

6-A RAVING BEAUTY, who had a very rough trip finished third, beaten just three parts of a length, while the pacesetter, 7-HAWKSMOOR, held on for fourth.

“She broke better than her last start. She ran a cleaner race at a shorter distance and got up in time,” trainer Chad Brown, who also saddled A Raving Beauty and 3-NEW MONEY HONEY, said of Sistercharlie. “It’s frustrating that she’ll put herself in that position early, but that’s her. Even before she arrived to my barn, that was her running style — coming from behind.

“She has a lot of heart and a lot of class. This isn’t her ideal distance, nor was the mile and a sixteenth in the Jenny Wiley. But just with sheer class, heart and ability, she can do it.”

Sent off as the 1.15-1 favorite, Sistercharlie returned $4.30 to win, $2.90 to place and $2.30 to show; Ultra Brat paid $10.80 and $4.60; and A Raving Beauty was good for $2.50.

The $1 exacta (1-5) was worth $25.50, the 50-cent trifecta (1-5-6) paid $42.00 and the 10-cent superfecta (1-5-6-7) returned $42.95.

Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand Race Course

9-Lovely Loyree overtook the pacesetter, 8-Haichi, to win the Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand on Saturday (photo by Tom Ferry).

9-Lovely Loyree overtook the pacesetter, 8-Haichi, to win the Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand on Saturday (photo by Tom Ferry).

After sitting in second-place throughout the majority of the race, 9-LOVELY LOYREE overtook the pacesetter, 8-HAICHI, in mid-stretch to score by a hard-fought neck in the Indiana General Assembly Distaff at Indiana Grand on Saturday. Sent off at 6-1 odds, the Michele Boyce trainee scored her second victory in the listed race — she also won in 2016.

The 7-year-old daughter of Cactus Ridge, who visited the winner’s circle for the eighth time in her 22-race career, paid $14.00 to win, $7.20 to place and $4.80 to show. Hachi, who hit the board for the first time since arriving in the United States from Chile, returned $13.80 and $7.80, while 3-KYLLACHY QUEEN paid $4.80.

The $2 exacta (9-8) was worth $229.20, the 50-cent trifecta (9-8-3) paid $363.45 and the 10-cent superfecta (9-8-3-6) was good for $189.13.

The 6-5 favorite, 4-LOVELY BERNADETTE, who was coming off a win in the Mint Julep Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs, finished sixth of eight in a dull effort.

Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand Race Course

Talk Veuve to Me justified her 1-9 odds with an easy win in the Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand (photo by Tom Ferry).

Talk Veuve to Me justified her 1-9 odds with an easy win in the Indiana Oaks (G3) at Indiana Grand on Saturday (photo by Tom Ferry).

In a race that had about much drama as Spectacular Bid’s final start, 5-TALK VEUVE TO ME took command on the far turn and quickly drew clear before being taken in hand late to win the Indiana Oaks (G3) by “only” 4 ¾ lengths at Indiana Grand Race Course on Saturday.

Although it was the 3-year-old filly’s first win since she broke her maiden by 11 ¼ lengths at Fair Grounds on March 25, she was sent off at 1-9 odds on Saturday on the strength of strong, runner-up performances in both the Eight Belles Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Acorn Stakes (G1) at Belmont.

“She showed what I was expecting her to show,” said trainer Rodolphe Brisset. “It was maybe a little quicker than what I was thinking on paper. But she took the lead pretty easy. You could see that she was looking around a lot, just went to the wire cruising.”

8-FIGARELLA’S QUEEN rallied from sixth after the opening quarter-mile to easily finish second, 6 ¾ lengths ahead of 6-KELLY’S HUMOR, who was a head in front of 7-SKEPTIC in third.

Talk Veuve to Me returned $2.20 to win, $2.10 to place and $2.10 to show; Figarella’s Queen paid $4.60 and $3.00; Kelly’s Humor was good for $2.40.

The $2 exacta (5-8) was worth $11.40, the 50-cent trifecta (5-8-6) paid $7.05 and the 10-cent superfecta (5-8-6-7) was worth a gallon of milk, or $3.53.

Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand Race Course

Axelrod gets up in time to win the Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand on Saturday (photo by Tom Ferry).

Axelrod gets up in time to score an upset victory in the Indiana Derby (G3) at Indiana Grand Race Course on Saturday (photo by Tom Ferry).

After leading or pressing the pace — never more than a length back at the first call — in each of his last six starts, new jockey Florent Geroux took 6-AXELROD to the back of the pack early before uncorking a potent late run that netted the 3-year-old colt his first stakes win in the Indiana Derby (G3) on Saturday at Indiana Grand.

“There was a lot of speed in the race and it’s just how the race unfolded,” said Geroux about the change of tactics on Axelrod. “I didn’t feel like being between horses. That’s just how it is sometimes. When I began to move him in the turn, his heart started getting bigger and bigger. I just felt confident right about the three-eighths pole. Before then, not so much. That was close at the end. I mean, I’m not sure [about catching Trigger Warning]. But the last two jumps, my horse just kept running on.”

1-TRIGGER WARNING, coming off a career-best effort in the Ohio Derby (G3) at Thistledown — where he finished third, beaten a single length — just missed again, but did hold onto second by a length and a half over 7-TITLE READY. It was another 1 ¼ lengths back to the 8-5 race favorite 8-KING ZACHARY.

Dismissed at 12-1 in the wagering, Axelrod paid $26.80 to win, $9.80 to place and $6.60 to show. Trigger Warning, who was 6-1, returned $6.80 and $4.80, while Title Ready paid $4.80 as the 4-1 third choice in the betting.

The $2 exacta (6-1) was worth $226.60, the 50-cent trifecta (6-1-7) paid $282.55 and the 10-cent superfecta (6-1-7-8) was good for $151.55.

The 50-cent all-stakes pick-4 returned $445.30.

American Derby (G3) at Arlington Park

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Real Story (photo by Steve Heurtez).

In the American Derby (G3), a 1 1/8-mile turf affair for three-year-olds, run at Arlington Park on Saturday, 7-REAL STORY sprinted clear early and widened his lead through six furlongs in 1:11.45 and a mile in 1:35.46, before traversing the final furlong in a quick 12.15 seconds to hold off a fast-closing 6-CAPTIVATING MOON by 1 ¾ lengths. 4-DUBBY DUBBIE was another neck back in third.

Real Story’s final time was just a fifth of a second off the course record set by Mr. Leader on July 4, 1970, and last tied by World Class Splash on July 11, 1992.

The son of Fast Bullet, who visited the winner’s circle for the third time in his six-race career, paid $16.80 to win, $6.60 to place and $4.40 to show. Captivating Moon returned $3.00 and $2.20 and Dubby Dubbie paid $3.60.

The $1 exacta (7-6) was worth $25.10, the 50-cent trifecta (7-6-4) paid $48.50 and the 10-cent superfecta (7-6-4-3) was good for $51.35.

Arlington Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park

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Divisidero (photo by Tom Ferry).

Winless in five starts since capturing the Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2017, 11-DIVISIDERO uncorked a potent late kick to win the Arlington Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park on Saturday by a half-length, despite bobbling at the start.

The Kelly Rubley trainee held 10-REVVED UP and safe in the drive, as the top three all maintained their positions in the final furlong. 3-SYNCHRONY, the even-odds favorite, checked in third.

Divisidero paid $7.00 to win, a healthy $5.00 to place and $3.00 to show as the second choice in the betting. Revved Up was 14-1 and returned $10.20 to place and $5.00 to show, while Synchrony was worth $2.40.

The $1 exacta (11-10) returned $38.30, the 50-cent trifecta (11-10-3) paid $43.80 and the 10-cent superfecta (11-10-3-6) was good for $88.62.

Modesty Handicap (G3) at Arlington Park

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Daddys Lil Darling (photo by Steve Heurtez).

After being 27 lengths off the pace after a half-mile in her last start, 13-DADDYS LIL DARLING was just 1 ½ length in arrears at the same point in the Modesty Handicap (G3) on Saturday at Arlington Park — and the change in tactics worked, as the daughter of Scat Daddy recorded an easy 2 ¼-length win under new jockey Brian Hernandez, who replaced Mike Smith.

What’s more, the Ken McPeek trainee stopped the clock in 1:53.80 for 1 3/16 miles on the turf — which was more than a fifth of a second faster than Divisidero went in the Arlington Handicap at the same distance.

Sent off as the 9-5 favorite, Daddys Lil Darling paid $5.80 to win, $3.40 to place and $2.80 to show. 9-PRADO’S SWEET RIDE, at nearly 12-1, paid $9.80 to place and $6.40 to show, while 6-HALLIE BELLE returned $4.20.

The $1 exacta (13-9) returned $26.70, the 50-cent trifecta (13-9-6) paid $77.70 and the 10-cent superfecta (13-9-6-12) was good for $125.93.

Stars & Stripes Stakes (G3) at Arlington Park

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Catcho En Die (photo by Tom Ferry).

2-CATCHO EN DIE showed that a slight dip in class is all that he needed to return to the winner’s circle. After being claimed for $40,000 by Naipaul Chatterpaul and Sotirios Sakatison April 21 at Aqueduct, the Argentina-bred gelding was entered in the Man o’ War and Manhattan — both Grade 1 stakes run at Belmont Park.

Although he finished off the board in those contests, Catcho En Die was beaten by a total of just 6 ¼ lengths. So, Saturday’s Grade III Stars & Stripes Stakes at Arlington Park looked like the perfect spot — and it was, as the 6-year-old son of Catcher in Rye went right to the front and never looked back, repelling challenges from 9-CANESSAR and 1-SOGLIO in the final furlong of the 1 ½-mile affair to win by a neck.

Catcho En Die paid $19.20 to win, $8.20 to place and $6.20 to show. Canessar returned $4.40 and $4.00, while Soglio was good for $5.40.

The $1 exacta (2-9) returned $50.00, the 50-cent trifecta (2-9-1) paid $206.40 and the 10-cent superfecta (2-9-1-4) checked in at $136.64.

For all the latest racing news, visit www.usracing.com/news.

US Racing Team
The writing team at US Racing is comprised of both full-time and part-time contributors with expertise in various aspects of the Sport of Kings.
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