Week of January 31, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

Saturday’s Sunshine Millions could have been renamed the Upset Millions as Evening Jewel (Distaff) was the only favorite to win. The only other favorite who managed to hit the board was Cost of Freedom who showed in the Sprint. Also interesting that Northern Afleet sired three of the winners: Evening Jewel, Amazombie (Sprint) and Aegean (Filly & Mare Sprint).

Evening Jewel, making her first start in a dirt route since her head bobbing second to 3-year-old champion Blind Luck in the 2010 Kentucky Oaks, quieted any talk about her retirement with an electrifying closing kick from well off the pace in the Distaff. There is currently no word on her next target. In the Turf Caracortado got back to his winning ways with a swift turn of foot as front running fan-favorite Presious Passion faded in the stretch. Caracortado’s likely next stop is either the Kilroe Mile or Santa Anita Handicap. Tackleberry sprung the biggest upset in the series at 27-1 in the Classic paying his backers $56.60 and providing his trainer, Louis Olivares, his biggest payday as a trainer. Olivares indicated that he’s considering running Tackleberry back next weekend in the Donn!

Pomeroys Pistol ($20.40) pulled an upset in Forward Gal Stakes with an inside trip sitting right off the pace. Favorite and well regarded Kentucky Oaks hopeful Dancinginherdreams was floated about six wide on the turn going into the stretch and still closed well to finish second by about half a length. Both fillies are likely to make their next stop in the Davona Dale at Gulfstream on Feb 26.

Maiden winner Dialed In made a dramatic entrance to the Kentucky Derby scene coming from 15 lengths off the leader to win the Holy Bull and add $240,000 to his earnings war chest. Since he’s almost assured a spot in the gate, trainer Nick Zito indicated that he would take it slow with the son of Mineshaft. The Churchill Downs communications department shared this fun fact via their Twitter account: The last horse to break its maiden at CD & win the Derby was Brokers Tip, who broke it WHILE winning the 1933 Derby.

And finally, heavily favored Switch easily made short work of the Santa Monica Stakes field at Santa Anita on Sunday. The filly who ran a game and close second to Zenyatta in the Lady’s Secret in the continues to impress as a 4-year-old with her second Grade 1 in a row. No plans have made for her yet but two possibilities include the Santa Margarita at Santa Anita or the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park.

This week at the site we’ll take at a look at the Donn Handicap in Ten Things You Should Know. Have you signed-up for the Derby Prep Alert yet? Every Friday we send you a preview of the upcoming Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks prep races and recap last week’s action. And as always, you can keep up with all the commentary and news at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

2011 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint Replay
Aegean held off a game Jessica is Back in a thrilling blanket finish that did not include the 6-5 favorite, Amen Hallelujah.

2011 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Replay
Trip for A.J. sat a perfect a stalking trip and held off a game and very wide Askbut I Won’ttell, while the favorite Dynaslew came in last.

2011 Sunshine Millions Distaff Replay
Evening Jewel quiets any talks of her retirement by displaying her quick turn of foot and will to fight.

2011 Sunshine Millions Classic Replay
25-1 shot Tackleberry took the field wire to wire while the even money favorite, First Dude, never fired and ran fourth.

Machen Allowance Race Replay

Machen lived up to the hype, bulling his way through a wall of horses and opening up on the field with relative ease.

2011 Forward Gal Stakes Replay

Pomeroy’s Pistol sat right of the pace and held off a wide and closing Dancinginherdreams.

2011 Holy Bull Stakes Replay

Maiden winner Dialed In made a dramatic and somewhat green entrance to the Kentucky Derby scene by coming from about 15 lengths off the lead.

2011 Santa Monica Stakes Replay

Heavily favored Switch had no trouble putting away the field.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

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