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Horse Racing News: Recaps, Replays, American Pharoah Update

Horse Racing News: Recaps, Replays, American Pharoah Update

Adirondack Stakes – Grade II – 6-1/2 Furlongs – Two-Year-Old Fillies – Saratoga
Although Tonasah was heavily favored, the gray Just Wicked (Tapit – Wicked Deed, by Harlan’s Holiday) claimed the Adirondack Stakes (GII) over fellow two-year-old fillies at Saratoga. Owned by Ron Winchell and trained by Steve Asmussen, a familiar and successful duo, Just Wicked finished second to Magnolias in Bloom in her debut but took her second start by 1-3/4 lengths. In the Adirondack Stakes, Just Wicked broke well and settled midpack while Tonasah set the pace. Nearing the three-eighths pole, Just Wicked made a wide move and headed Tonasah. Those two ran together down the homestretch, but by the wire, Just Wicked had put away that foe by 1-1/4 lengths with the rest of the field a distant 8 lengths behind them.

Pucker Up Stakes – Grade III Turf – 1-1/8 Miles – Three-Year-Old Fillies – Arlington
Mizz Money (Mizzen Mast – Abbeyville Miss, by Grand Slam) claimed her first graded stakes victory in a thrilling edition of the Pucker Up Stakes (GIII). The gray sophomore filly had attempted graded stakes company before but to no avail, finishing in sixth and fourth in the Appalachian Stakes (GIII) and the Eight Belles Stakes (GIII), respectively. Success was near, however, as Mizz Money managed to nose out Return to Grace in the Pucker Up. Following a swift break, Mizz Money tracked the leader under jockey Robby Albarado and claimed the lead midway around the turn. A late charge by Return to Grace threatened her, but Mizz Money held her off at the wire to take the race by a close nose. *Video Unavailable

American St. Leger – Grade III Turf – 1-11/16 Miles – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Arlington
The Irish-bred and German-raced Lucky Speed (Silvano – Lysuna, by Monsun) claimed his first American graded stakes win with his claim in the American St. Leger (GIII). A group winner in Germany, Lucky Speed made his first North American start in Woodbine’s Nijinsky Stakes (GII) and finished a respectable fourth. In the American St. Leger, Lucky Speed broke slowly but seemed content to settle back in fifth until the final turn. He swung out four-wide in the stretch and produced a closing kick that sent him to a three-quarter-length victory over Panama Hat.

Secretariat Stakes – Grade I Turf – 1-1/4 Miles – Three-Year-Olds – Arlington
Another Irish-bred claimed a grass race at Arlington. Highland Reel (Galileo – Hveger, by Danehill) was a stakes winner back in Europe and made his first American start in the Secretariat Stakes (GI) a successful one as well. Highland Reel left the gate as the second favorite and immediately bounded to the front of the pack to set the pace of the Secretariat. The bay colt was never headed during the race and simply remained in the lead, drawing off to post a victory of 5-1/4 lengths.

Beverly D. Lewis Stakes – Grade I Turf – 1-3/16-Miles – Three-Year-Old and Up Fillies and Mares – Arlington
With her win via disqualification in the Beverly D. Stakes (GI), Watsdachances (Diamond Green – High Finance, by Entrepreneur) has proven to be an incredibly consistent runner on the turf. The five-year-old mare has never finished out of the top four in 18 lifetime starts, and her most recent victory came in the Gallorette Handicap (GIII) back in May. In the Beverly D., Watsdachances settled on the rail towards the back of the pack but began to split foes on the outside down the stretch. She just edged Stephanie’s Kitten to claim second behind Secret Gesture, but that rival was disqualified for drifting out, leaving Watsdachances to claim the winning honors. *Video Unavailable

Fourstardave Handicap – Grade II Turf – One Mile – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Saratoga
Grand Arch (Arch – Bacinella, by El Gran Senor) claimed a win in the Fourstardave Handicap (GII) over a competitive field eight. The six-year-old gelding’s lone other graded stakes win came in the 2014 King Edward Stakes (GII), but he also managed to finish second in last year’s Fourstardave and the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (GI). In this year’s Fourstardave, Grand Arch rated behind King Kreesa towards the inside before swinging two-wide to confront that rival. Those two fought for a moment, but Grand Arch put him away enough to win by a neck over the quickly closing pair of Ironicus and Seek Again.

Arlington Million XXXIII – Grade I – Turf – 1-1/4 Miles – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Arlington
Many puns have been offered, but perhaps the best one is the fact that The Pizza Man (English Channel – I Can Fan Fan, by Lear Fan) delivered in the Arlington Million XXXIII (GI). The six-year-old multiple graded stakes winner is undefeated on the year with victories in the Opening Verse Stakes and the Stars and Stripes Stakes (GIII) in addition to his capture of the Million. Exiting the gate as the second favorite behind co-favorites Slumber and Big Blue Kitten, The Pizza Man settled in ninth in the pack of thirteen and ran wide for much of the race. He moved four-wide to make his advance, and he was able to expend enough momentum to run down Big Blue Kitten and to take the race by a neck.

Del Mar Oaks – Grade I Turf – 1-1/8 Miles – Three-Year-Old Fillies – Del Mar
Sharla Rae (Afleet Alex – Jinny’s Gold, by Gold Fever) is back on top after taking the Del Mar Oaks (GI) over a field of eight fillies. The bay filly found stakes success with her victory in the California Oaks, but she had yet to capture a graded stakes prior to the Del Mar Oaks. Under jockey James Graham, Sharla Rae saved ground while tracking the leaders in the early stages of the Oaks. It was until the stretch that she moved three-wide in pursuit to pull off a three-quarter-length victory over Her Emmynency.

American Pharoah – Del Mar
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (with Martin Garcia aboard) worked four furlongs in :47.60 Sunday morning, August 16, 2015 at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, CA. Owners Ahmed and Justin Zayat were on hand as their superstar readied for his yet to be determined next start.