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Horse Racing News and Results March 14, 2015

Horse Racing News and Results March 14, 2015:
Azeri Stakes – Grade II – 1-1/16 Miles –
Four-Year-Olds and Up Fillies and Mares – Oaklawn

With the defection of Sugar Shock, the small field of the Azeri Stakes (GII) shrunk to a field of five. Untapable, last year’s Champion Three-Year-Old Filly after a dazzling season, entered the starting gate as the overwhelming 1-9 favorite but exited the race as the second best. Gold Medal Dancer (Medaglia d’Oro – Bachata, by Kingmambo), a five-year-old bay mare, took the lead over the sealed track and would not give it up to the pursuing Untapable, ultimately winning by half a length over the champion in a time of 1:45.92. Gold Medal Dancer was also able to exact revenge over Mufajaah and Flashy American, the top two finishers in the February Bayakoa Stakes (GIII) in which she managed to finish third. Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel was ecstatic following his mare’s victory, saying, “She went out and controlled the pace. She fought off the champion and she showed a lot of heart. It’s sure a possibility that we’ll be back for the Apple Blossom.” Behind Gold Medal Dancer and Untapable, Mufajaah, Diva’s Diamond, and Flashy American finished up the field.
Azeri Stakes 2015 Results Payouts

Razorback Handicap – Grade III – 1-1/16 Miles – Four-Year-Olds and Up – Oaklawn
The Razorback Handicap (GIII) for older horses culminated in a stretch duel between two gray colts with Race Day (Tapit – Rebalite, by More Than Ready) emerging victorious. Midnight Hawk, another four-year-old gray colt, claimed the lead until being challenged by Race Day at the end of the backstretch. Down the homestretch, racing fans either cheered for Midnight Hawk to pass Race Day or for Race Day to hold off his charging rival. The latter crowd succeeded as Race Day held off his opponent by a solid neck while the two smoky colts put seven lengths between themselves and the rest of the field. Race Day is rather familiar with success, boasting a record of 6-3-1-2 and strong recent Beyer figures of 106 and 109. The victory was Race Day’s first graded stakes win for owner Matthew Schera, a fitting reward for the owner’s first visit to Oaklawn. Golden Ticket, Carve, Tapiture, Ride On Curlin, and I Got It All completed the order of finish.
Razorback Handicap 2015 Payouts

Rebel Stakes – Grade II – 1-1/16 Miles – Three-Year-Olds – Oaklawn
The centerpiece of racing at Oaklawn was certainly the Rebel Stakes (GII) in which the spotlight focused on the three-year-old debut of Champion Two-Year-Old Colt American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman). The champion did not disappoint the crowd of over 30,000 who braved the nasty weather to witness the race. American Pharoah took the lead right out of the gate and left the rest of the field eating his slop, dispelling any doubts concerning his ability to succeed over an off-track. He hit the wire 6-1/4 lengths in front of runner-up Madefromlucky in a solid time of 1:45.78 to claim his third graded stakes victory in four races. After the race, connections discovered the colt had been running with a sprung, bent shoe that likely happened during his bobbling start, further defining the excellent running abilities of American Pharoah. In terms of where the colt will race next, Bob Baffert stated that he didn’t want to get ahead of himself but that “the Arkansas Derby is a good chance. I don’t see why not!” Bold Conquest, The Truth Or Else, Paid Admission, Sakima, and Tizwonderfulcreek completed the order of finish.
Rebel Stakes 2015 Payouts

Santa Margarita Stakes – Grade I – 1-1/8 Miles – Four-Year-Olds and Up Fillies and Mares – Santa Anita
In another small field of older fillies and mares, Warren’s Veneda (Affirmative – More Cal Bread, by Flying Continental) proved to be the best yet again in this year’s edition of the Santa Margarita Stakes (GI). Tiz Midnight scratched prior to the race, but the event still contained a good field of six females. Warren’s Veneda stalked pacesetters Cassatt and Uzziel before taking over in the stretch on her way to a 7-1/4-length victory. The Santa Margarita was the chestnut mare’s first Grade I win and her third victory over the Santa Anita oval, previously claiming the Feburary Santa Maria Stakes (GII) and the Paseana Stakes in January. Dame Dorothy finished back in second, and Thegirlinthatsong, Uzziel, Legacy, and Cassatt completed the order of finish.
Santa Margarita Stakes 2015 Payouts

Oaklawn Racing

Oaklawn Racing in Arkansas was the center of attention on March 14, 2015 with the debut of American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes. Photo: Jessica, Smith, LATT

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