Week of March 7, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

It was a weekend full of exciting and sometimes unexpected results with several down to the wire finishes, and in the Santa Anita Handicap a long wait for a steward’s ruling to determine the outcome. Santa Anita Park provided an excellent behind the scenes look at the trainers and jockeys as they awaited the ruling (see below). The race was rough and tumble in the stretch with the favorite Twirling Candy bouncing between eventual winner Game on Dude and second place finisher Setsuko, who emerged with an injury. Jockey Chantal Sutherland was the first female jockey to win the historic race giving Bob Baffert his second consecutive win and third overall.

Turbulent Descent and Zazu reprized their rivalry in the Santa Anita Oaks with the fourth round going to Turbulent Descent, making it 3-1 in her favor. Making an early move to get the jump on Zazu, who bested Turbulent Descent last out in the Las Virgenes (replay), Turbulent Descent broke the stakes record going 1:41.05 and held on by a narrow margin bringing her record to 5-4-0-0. Trainer Mike Puype noted right after the race that she would not be on the 2011 Kentucky Oaks trail but would point towards shorter races such as the one mile Acorn on the Belmont Stakes undercard and Test Stakes at Saratoga. New York fans who would like to see this talented filly in action should mark their calendars! Zazu, who continues to improve with each outing, is definitely on the Oaks trail but no word yet on her next start.

Stay Thirsty came off the bench from a six month layoff and into the 2011 Kentucky Derby spotlight by overcoming some traffic trouble and pulling away from the crowd in the Gotham Stakes. While some have grumbled that he didn’t beat much, he did look game and showed that Uncle Mo is not the only talented Derby contender in Mike Repole’s barn. He’ll will make his next start either in the April 3 Florida Derby or the April 16 Arkansas Derby.

Dialed In made an unorthodox start in an allowance optional claimer for older horses going 1 1/8 miles on his path to the 2011 Kentucky Derby. It was his stablemate who took the honors but it’s likely that the colt got some valuable experience in this start. In his previous starts he’s been well off the pace and had a fast pace to run at. This time he was much closer to a slow pace and was still able to close well. Trainer Nick Zito made the best of it noting that “he had to be happy” with the effort. He remains pointed towards the in the Florida Derby on April 3. California Derby winner Positive Response annihilated the John Battaglia field at Turfway Park with a wire to wire win. His next start is likely to be the Vinery Spiral Stakes on March 26.

In the exciting finish department Caracortado almost ran down Fluke in the Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita Park and Never Retreat ran down Persuading in deep stretch of the Honey Fox at Gulfstream Park.

This week at the site we’ll take a look at the Santa Margarita Handicap in Ten Things You Should Know About. 3-year-old champion filly Blind Luck may make her next start in the Santa Margarita.

This coming weekend is also Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wagers and will include the only pool for the Kentucky Oaks. What should you consider when playing the futures? We have a few pointers plus a list of final odds and will pays for Pool 1 in our post, Back to the Futures!

Don’t forget to join our Road to the Roses League!
League Identifier: 3337801406
Activation Code: 2066491149

And as always, keep up with all the 2011 Kentucky Derby and 2011 Kentucky Oaks commentary at Raceday 360 Wire!

Last Week’s Races

2011 Fred Caposella Stakes Replay
Sensational Slam comes off a six month layoff and wins his first start on dirt.

2011 Tom Fool Handicap Replay
Favorite Calibrachoa makes it three in row over the inner track at Aqueduct.

2011 Gotham Stakes Replay
After being floated wide going into the first turn, Stay Thirsty pulled away from the field to make his seasonal debut a winning one.

2011 Honey Fox Stakes Replay
Never Retreat lived up to her name, sitting a perfect stalking trip and and overtaking Persuading in deep stretch.

2011 Santa Anita Oaks Replay
Turbulent Descent narrowly holds off a fast closing Zasu in a thrilling rematch.

2011 Kilroe Mile Replay
Caracortado was flying late but it wasn’t enough to catch Fluke.

2011 Santa Anita Handicap Replay
Game on Dude survived an inquiry, a whole lot of bumping and a duel with the game Setsuko to win the Big Cap. Jockey Chantal Sutherland is the first female jockey to win the Santa Anita Handicap.

Trainers & jockeys await the steward’s ruling after the 2011 Santa Anita Handicap
A behind the scenes look at the trainers and jockeys from the Santa Anita Handicap awaiting the steward’s ruling on the outcome of the race.

2011 The Ladies Turf Sprint Stakes Replay
Stormy Publisher took the field wire to wire in an off the turf rendition of the race.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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