Week of November 28, 2011
By Dana Byerly, Hello Race Fans Co-founder

The last whirlwind weekend of racing for 2011 leaves the impression that 2012 might be a very enjoyable year.

To Honor and Serve became the first winner out of the Breeders’ Cup when he took the Grade 1 Cigar Mile with authority at Aqueduct on Sunday. After the much anticipated returns of Ruler on Ice and Flat Out failed to yield either a showdown or any insight with regard to the Eclipse Awards, To Honor and Serve, Jeranimo in the Citation and Daddy Nose Best in an allowance race were able to step-up and deliver post-BC wins. To Honor and Serve will rest and be back next year as will Flat Out. No word on Ruler on Ice, but barring injury it seems likely he’ll be back given that he’s a gelding.

Other strong performances over the long weekend included several juveniles, most notably two fillies. Disposablepleasure got off to horrible start in the Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct but put in eye-catching rally to win. She exited the race with a small injury but will depart for Florida along with much of trainers Todd Pletcher’s string and prep for next year. At Churchill Downs On Fire Baby also turned in a strong effort in the Grade 2 Golden Rod, winning by 6 1/4 lengths. She’ll ship to Oaklawn Park to do her 2012 Kentucky Oaks preparations.

The juvenile colts made a decent showing as well with O’Prado Again taking the Grade 2 Remsen and Gemologist taking the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Connections of both colts were in the 2010 Kentucky Derby trifecta as O’Prado Again is from the same connections as third place 2010 Derby runner Paddy O’Prado and Gemologist is from the same connections as 2010 Derby winner Super Saver, who also won the Kentucky Jockey Club. Gemologist will head to Palm Meadows Training Center in Florida while O’Prado Again is likely to be close by at Gulfstream.

Champion Awesome Feather turned in an fantastic performance in the Grade 1 Gazelle at Aqueduct and is likely to make her next start in the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream Park on Jan 28. Check out Ten Things You Should Know about the Sunshine Millions Series! Hollywood Park hosted it’s annual turf festival which included six graded turf races and several notable performances. Jeranimo, who we already mentioned, was a standout in the Citation as well as More Than Love who battled gamely to take the Miesque. Sadly Irrefutable, who made a game run for second in the Vernon O. Underwood, collapsed after the race and died, presumably of a heart attack.

In case you missed it, Rapid Redux broke the North American record for consecutive wins by a thoroughbred when he won his 20th race last week. He was being considered for next weekend’s Claiming Crown at Fair Grounds (see our Ten Things for the Claiming Crown!) but his connections have decided to skip and look for another spot.

This is our last Weekly Roundup for 2011. We hope you’ve enjoyed them! We’ll be taking a break to gear up for 2012 and the Roundup will be back in mid-January. In the meantime we’ll still be posting the occasional Trip Note as things come up, and we’ve got a great series of Reading Lists that we’re doing over the next three weeks to help you with your holiday shopping. Check out our first one, a General Racing Reading List. We’re still also keeping our post, Keeping Track of Who’s Staying on the Track updated.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the 2011, and here’s hoping that 2012 turns out to be a great one!

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

Last Week’s Races

2011 Hollywood Prevue Replay
Trainer Bob Baffert takes his fifth Hollywood Prevue with a win from So Brilliant.

2011 Miesque Stakes Replay
More Than Love fights for it!

2011 Clark Handicap Replay
Wise Dan with an emphatic victory.

2011 Matriarch Replay
Star Billing nips Summer Soiree.

2011 Demoiselle Stakes Replay
Disposablepleasure impressively overcomes a bad trip.

2011 Remsen Stakes Replay
O’Prado Again!

2011 Cigar Mile Replay
To Honor and Serve keeps his Aqueduct record perfect.

2011 Gazelle Stakes Replay
Awesome Feather remains perfect, and formidable!

2011 W.L. McKnight Handicap Replay
9-year-old Musketier saves ground and holds off the closers.

2011 Golden Rod Stakes Replay
On Fire Baby was just that!

2011 Kentucky Jockey Club Replay
Gemologist duels and pulls away.

2011 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes Replay
Pacific Ocean wires it.

2011 Citation Handicap Replay
Jeranimo successfully used the Breeders’ Cup as a prep race!

2011 Generous Stakes Replay
Stony Fleece takes advance of a fast pace.

2011 Hollywood Derby Replay
Ultimate Eagle gets the lead early and never looks back.

Upcoming Graded Stakes Races

Check probable starters at Horse Racing Nation’s Stakes Tracker

See you at the track!

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