There was great stakes racing to be found this weekend from the East Coast to the West Coast. Here's a look at some of the top highlights from the weekend.
$500,000 Penn National Mile Stakes (G2)
REAL NEWS entered the with all eyes on him, having placed twice in stakes races coming up to the Penn National Mile. He went to the front setting fractions of :22.71 and :47.60, stalked by A THREAD OF BLUE, the favorite, just off the rail. Covering six furlongs in 1:12.63, REAL NEWS showed no signs of slowing and A THREAD OF BLUE was keen to keep up.
At the top of the stretch, FORTY UNDER dropped back and MOON COLONY was able to edge closer to the leaders and made his move for the lead. CASA CREED moved to challenge REAL NEWS on the outside and the three headed for the wire.
With a strong effort, MOON COLONY pulled ahead and took the win by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:37.45. CASA CREED moved up for second and REAL NEWS finished third. A THREAD OF BLUE held on for fourth followed by FLUMINENSE, THE BLACK ALBUM, CONATIVE and FORTY UNDER.
MOON COLONY is owned by John C. Oxley and trained by Mark Casse. Casse won the 2016 Penn National Mile Stakes with CATCH A GLIMPSE.
$200,000 Penn Oaks
REGAL GLORY settled for fourth behind JENNIFER'S DREAM in the lead on the rail. Setting opening fractions of :23.04 and :47.94 through the first half-mile, UJJAYI stayed in close pursuit. At three-quarters of a mile, ALASAAYIL moved into third, leaving a wide route for REGAL GLORY. On the stretch, REGAL GLORY made her move and cruised home, completing the mile in 1:39.43.
ALASAAYIL finished second, 5 1/2 lengths ahead of JENNIFER'S DREAM.
$200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes - Belmont (G3)
DEMARCHELIER repeated his maiden victory performance in the Pennine Ridge Stakes at Belmont this weekend, winning the race by a neck over SEISMIC WAVE.
VALUE PROPOSITION set the pace with fractions of :24.53 and :49.27 but ran out of gas at the top of the stretch and faded to last. CLINT MAROON grabbed the lead, but DEMARCHELIER was too much horse and he could not fend him off. DEMARCHELIER swung to the outside in the stretch and took the lead with a sixteenth left. SEISMIC WAVE rallied but came up short. SOCIAL PARANOIA finished third.
DEMARCHELIER is now targeting the Belmont Derby, as it is the second leg of the inaugural Turf Trinity, the Triple Crown of turf racing so to speak. The Saratoga Derby and Jockey Club Derby are the second and third legs of the Turf Trinity following the Belmont Derby. Trainer Chad Brown has thus far only committed to the Belmont Derby.
$200,000 Santa Maria Stakes - Santa Anita (G2)
Under the patient hand of jockey Drayden Van Dyke, LA FORCE waited patiently as JUST A SMIDGE set fractions of :24.21, :48.51 and 1:13.32. He took the mare four wide in the stretch as she opened up the field. PARADISE WOODS stumbled out of the gates, leaving her last in the start, but came up late to challenge LA FORCE, but she simply didn't have the momentum. LA FORCE wrapped up the 1 1/16th miles in 1:45.91. PARADISE WOODS finished second 1 1/4 lengths back followed by JUST A SMIDGE.
$100,000 Arlington Matron Stakes - Arlington Park (G3)
The Arlington Matron Stakes field was cut to six after four scratches, including LA FORCE who went to the Santa Maria Stakes instead. COACHWHIP shipped from Keeneland for the race with trainer Jack Sisterson.
At the start, COACHWHIP settled behind DADDY'S BOO. Nearing the end of the backstretch, jockey Tyler Baze made his move and she moved easily to the lead at the top of the stretch. She finished the 1 1/8 miles by 3 1/2 lengths and in 1:51.80 with STRAWBERRY TEQUILA following in second and NA PALI SPIRIT in third.