Saturday’s biggest race came in the form of a 1 3/8-mile turf contest where Phipp’s Stables’ Boisterous took the $600,000 Man o’ War Stakes (G1) under Hall of Fame Jockey John Velasquez for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. This marked the first Grade-1 victory of Boisterous’ career, and the second consecutive Man o’ War win for Phipps Stable and McGaughey. Last year’s winner, Point of Entry, who just won the Manhattan Handicap (G1) at Belmont on June 8, was sidelined after the race when he suffered a condylar fracture. This just shows you the depth of Phipps Stable and Commander McGaughey… When one Grade-1 turf winner goes down, another one gets called up and gets the job done. Boisterous is now 25-11-3-2 and has earned $1,297,910. Shug has to decide where to send Boisterous next, which could be either the Sword Dancer Invitational (G1) at Saratoga on August 17, the Arlington Million (G1) at Arlington Park also August 17, or even the August 25 Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. While his connections reside in New York, I am hoping it will be either the Million or Pacific Classic, because of course, we will be there with the ABRV Tour…
Juddmonte Farms’ Emollient was able to hold of Emotional Kitten in her turf debut to take the $350,000 American Oaks (G1) at Hollywood Park Saturday. The three-year-old daughter of Empire Maker was slow in the beginning but rallied off the rail along the stretch under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith to get the victory in the 10-furlong turf contest for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. This marked the second Grade 1 victory for Emollient, who took the Ashland Stakes on the Polytrack at Keeneland in April. She is now 8-4-2-0 with earnings of $656,900. Her connections did not say which race she would be pointing toward next, but one would think the Lake Placid (G2) at Saratoga on August 18 would be a possibility, which is for three-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles on the turf…
Magdalena Racing’s War Dancer captured the 16th running of the $500,000 Virginia Derby (G2) at Colonial Downs Saturday, going off at odds of 7-1. I had originally listed Charming Kitten as my pick for this race, but what I didn’t tell you is that I had a change of heart on this horse at the last minute. I put $5 across the board on War Dancer and also had the $2 Exacta box with War Dancer/Charming Kitten and the $1 trifecta box War Dancer/Charming Kitten/Jack Milton. So on three wagers I spent a total of $45, and got back a total of $322.50. Not bad for how I started on the day!
That was the first career stakes victory for War Dancer, who is by the red-hot sire War Front. Alan Garcia was aboard the Kenny McPeek trainee, who is now 7-1-2-3 with earnings of over $418,000…
Robert “The Colonel” Courtney Jr.’s Rahystrada won the $200,000 Arlington Handicap (G3) for a record third time on Saturday. The nine-year-old gelding, trained by my parents’ good friend Byron “Scooter” Hughes, was able to hold off Temeraine and Dullahan under guidance from Rosie Napravnik. This is a horse who started racing back in 2006 right after I graduated high school. When he won the 2009 River City (G3) Handicap at Churchill I believe it was the first graded win for either Courtney or Hughes, both life-long Kentucky horsemen who have been friends with my parents since I can remember. Flash forward to today and the horse has a record of 14-5-8 in 44 career starts and has earned $1,371,750! I can’t say how happy I am for the connections of Rahystrada, who may try again for the Arlington Million (G1) on August 17, a race he’s tried for the last three years, but has never finished better than third…
More Saturday Race Links:
- Delaware Park: Dancing Afleet Upsets Delaware Oaks
- Hollywood Park: Book Review Gets Rave Reviews in A Gleam
- Colonial Downs: Nellie Cashman Springs Virginia Oaks Surprise
- Arlington Park: Infinite Magic Pulls Out Tight American Derby
- Arlington Park: Ausus Notches First Graded Victory in Modesty
- Arlington Park: Dark Cove Lowers Course Record at Arlington
- Delaware Park: Treasured Up Digs Down for Robert Dick Tally
That’s all for now, stay tuned as we will have some coverage for the Fasig-Tipton July Yearling & Horses of Racing Age sales on Monday!