Week of March 12, 2012
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

Many of last weekend’s winners continued their perfect 2012 records while others regained their winning form.

Chad Brown had a great weekend with three of his runners remaining perfect so far in 2012. Two females brought their records to 2-2 on the turf while one his 3-year-old colts is now 3-3 over the inner track at Aqueduct. French mare Zagora, who scored her first U.S. win last summer in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga, took the Grade 3 Hillsborough Stakes (chart | replay) at Tampa Bay Downs. 3-year-old filly Dayatthespa built on her Sweetest Chant victory by scoring her first graded win in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride (chart) at Gulfstream Park. 3-year-old colt Hardened Wildcat made his first stakes appearance a winning one in the Fred “Cappy” Caposella at Aqueduct (chart). No word on what’s next the trio of Brown winners.

Also at Aqueduct on Saturday, 3-year-old filly Agave Kiss brought her perfect record to 4-4 with an emphatic score in the Grade 3 6-furlong Cicada Stakes (chart). Trainer Rudy Rodriguez noted that the one-mile Comely Stakes on the Wood Memorial under card is a possibility but that the Grade 1 Prioress and Grade 1 Test Stakes at Saratoga were goals.

On Fire Baby made a triumphant return to restricted company winning the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes (chart | replay) at Oaklawn Park on Saturday. According to trainer Gary Hartlage, the impressive Kentucky Oaks hopeful will make her next start at Oaklawn Park, but no mention of whether that would be the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes for fillies on April 11 or the Grade 1 Arkansas Derby with the males on April 14. You may remember that On Fire Baby ran a solid third in the Smarty Jones Stakes (chart) against males in January.

Mucho Macho Man continued to improve, easily winning the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap (chart) and scoring his third straight win. He came out of the race in good order but no word on what’s next. Last out Mucho Macho Man beat Ron the Greek by almost two lengths in the Sunshine Millions Classic (chart). Ron the Greek then came back to dominate in the Santa Anita Handicap (chart) just last week. In a conversation on Twitter bloodstock agent Larry Zap noted that he thought both colts were coming into their own.

At Santa Anita Creative Cause finally found his best stride in time to win, running down a game Bodemeister in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes (chart | replay). With Out of Bounds declared off the trail early last week Creative Cause stepped up to become California’s Derby horse, at least until the April 7 Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, where he’ll meet Bodemeister again along with a few others. Creative Cause ran third to Hansen and Union Rags in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (chart).

At Tampa Bay Downs, Sam F. Davis second place finisher Prospective fought his way into the top ten on the Kentucky Derby graded earnings list, battling with Golden Ticket tooth and nail in the stretch to take the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby (chart | replay). Prospective finished last in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but he may get a shot at Hansen again as the Grade 1 Wood Memorial is his likely target. Trainer Mark Casse noted that the Breeders’ Cup was the only time he “didn’t get into a race.”

On Sunday, Derby hopeful Dullahan took to the turf to kick off his 3-year-old campaign in the Grade 2 Palm Beach Stakes (chart). He ran second to Howe Great, stablemate of last year’s Derby winner Animal Kingdom. Twitter exploded with oohs and aahhs over Howe Great not long afterwards. Dullahan put in a nice effort for second, traveling 44ft more than the winner according to Trakus. Howe Great made it four in a row bringing his record to 5-4. His next stop might be the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 14, a spot that seems logical for Dullahan as well.

Last Thursday night, 2010’s Horse of the Year Zenyatta gave birth to 130lb colt by Bernardini. This week in Ten Things, we take a look at a race that Zenyatta won in 2012, the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap Also this week, reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace is poised to make her return in the New Orleans Lady Handicap at Fair Grounds.

Afternoon Update
Fed Biz, who missed last weekend’s San Felipe, has been declared off the Derby trail with a mystery hind end issue. 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom was injured in a workout this morning and will miss the Dubai World Cup. It’s unclear at this point whether the injury is career ending.

View 2012 Kentucky Derby Prep Schedule + Results via Railbird
(includes charts, replays, win place show and archive back to 2003)

Keep with all the commentary and news at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

2012 Cicada Stakes Replay
Agave Kiss remains undefeated.

2012 Cicada Stakes Replay
Hardened Wildcat is an inner-track winning machine!

2012 Gulfstream Park Handicap Replay
Mucho Macho Man flexes.

Click the “play” arrow and follow the “Watch on YouTube” link to view this replay

2012 Swale Stakes Replay
Trinniberg runs them off their feet.

Click the “play” arrow and follow the “Watch on YouTube” link to view this replay

2012 Palm Beach Stakes Replay
Howe Great gets a great trip.

Click the “play” arrow and follow the “Watch on YouTube” link to view this replay

2012 Herecomesthebride Stakes Replay
Dayatthespa gets her first graded win.

Click the “play” arrow and follow the “Watch on YouTube” link to view this replay

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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