From the turf of Kentucky Downs to the finale of the Turf Triple Series at Belmont, here's your weekend stakes update.
$1 Million Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes
At the break A THREAD OF BLUE took a wrong step, but recovered quickly and went to the lead. Just off the rail, HENLEY'S JOY rated just behind as they ran opening fractions of :25.23 and :50.77.
PEDRO CARA put the pressure on A THREAD OF BLUE, taking the lead at the top of the stretch on the outside. SPANISH MISSION was at the back of the pack through the backstretch, making his first start in the United States. Gaining ground down the homestretch, SPANISH MISSION battled PEDRO CARA to the wire, despite his jockey dropping his right rein, and was declared the winner by a head bob in a photo finish.
The final time for the 1 1/2 mile turf race was 2:27.58. SAN HUBERTO finished third. SPANISH MISSION earned himself a spot in the starting gates at the Breeders' Cup Turf, however owner Barry Irwin said the colt will be making the trip back across the pond and will likely not run in the Breeders' Cup.
$750,000 Jockey Club Oaks Invitational
The Jockey Club Oaks featured another foreign horse making her US debut. EDISA had a slow start and it took her a few strides to find her footing. ROMANTIC PURSUIT took charge of the field and set the pace. DYNA PASSER followed just off the inside pressing around the backside.
EDISA began making strides for the lead behind DESERT RIDE and angled out into the two path on the first turn. At the five-sixteenths mark, she was guided five wide by entering the homestretch. Making her move, DYNA PASSER shifted three wide running after ROMANTIC PURSUIT. EDISA overcame WONDERMENT, making a few final strides to cross the wire first by nearly a length. The final time was 2:17.02 with WONDERMENT finish second and DYNA PASSER in third.
$1,000,405 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup (G3T)
FACTOR THIS set slow fractions of :51.47 and 1:15.32. ZULU ALPHA stalked the field in fifth. Coming down the stretch, he quickly grew away and leaving ARKLOW, in second, and CAMPAIGN, in third, far away. The final time was 2:28.62 on firm turf.
The $1 million race was the richest in Kentucky Downs history and the first race of that value that ZULU ALPHA has won.
$356,320 Three Chimneys Ladies Turf Stakes
MS BAD BEHAVIOR broke from the gates clear and went straight to the lead to set a strong pace on the inside with MITCHELL ROAD following under a strong hand, but got stuck in a pocket on the rail and ran out of ground finishing second behind a flying strong>MS BAD BEHAVIOR. SIMPLY BREATHLESS finished third. The final time was 1:35.25.
The race was the first graded stakes win for strong>MS BAD BEHAVIOR.
$684,640 Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (G3T)
With a late break, TOTALLY BOSS worked quickly to catch the pacesetters. SMART REMARK set the pace with fast opening fractions. IMPRIMIS and STORMY LIBERAL settled behind with the pacesetters along with LEINSTER back in fifth.
Coming down the stretch TOTALLY BOSS made a move and passing the front runners by a length and a quarter and finishing the six furlongs with a final time of 1:09.21. The colt earned a start in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1T).