- Prudhoe Bay — G3 Jersey Shore S. (MTH)
- Trained by Eddie Plesa, Jr. for Rustlewood Farm, Inc.
- Down Town Allen — Sadie Hawkins S. (CT)
- Trained and owned by John A. Casey
- Bred in West Virginia by her owner
- Balance of Power — G3 Philip H. Iselin S. (MTH)
- Trained by David Jacobson for himself and Drawing Away Stable[/boxify]
In weekend stakes action…
- A half-dozen sophomores squared off in Saturday’s Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth, and Prudhoe Bay proved best of the lot. The Songandaprayer colt dueled along the inside with Debt Ceiling, put that one away, and then had enough in the tank to hold off Favorite Tale, the 6-5 favorite. It was Prudhoe Bay’s fourth win in nine starts and ran his career earnings to $191,535. “I wanted to try to be sitting third or fourth, but being on the inside I couldn’t take back because I wouldn’t be able to get outside of the all the horses up close,” said Prudhoe Bay’s jock, the red-hot Paco Lopez. “So I just held my position and when I asked, he really kicked on.” Favorite Tale was second, three-quarters of a length back, and Glacken Too finished third. Running time for six furlongs was a sharp 1:09.08.
- Down Town Allen was simply too good for her seven rivals in the Sadie Hawkins Stakes for West Virginia-breds at Charles Town Saturday. Under jockey Erik Ramirez, the seven-year-old Windsor Castle mare spurted to the lead early and drew off late, posting a four-length win in 1:25.60 for seven furlongs. Red Hot Diva rallied into second, and Dimples finished third. For Down Town Allen, it was her fourth consecutive win in this event, which came just about two months after she’d posted her fourth consecutive victory in the Fancy Buckles. She has now won 23 of 39 lifetime starts, and the win pushed her earnings just north of $900,000.
- Valid’s bid for a second consecutive graded score was denied. Millionaire Pants on Fire led late but couldn’t hold on. In the end, they couldn’t contain late-running Balance of Power, who picked up the pieces to win the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin Stakes at Monmouth on Sunday. Valid set the early pace with pressure from Vegas No Show, with Pants on Fire in the garden spot in third. Pants on Fire shot the rail entering the stretch to make the lead, but Balance of Power swooped up outside to earn the first stake win of his career. “He wasn’t as forwardly placed as we planned to be, but by the time we got on the backside he was comfortable so I just wanted to find the right seam,” said winning rider Chuck Lopez. “We got it around the turn and he exploded from there.” Balance of Power completed the nine furlongs in 1:48.78 and has now won six of 16 career starts with earnings of $233,128.
Three runners from the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll were in action over the weekend. Real Solution, the number 1 ranked older horse, had no answers in Saturday’s Grade 1 Arlington Million. After racing up close for three-quarters of a mile, the Pennsylvania-bred faded to last. Meanwhile, at Monmouth, Valid, number 3 among older horses, finished third in the Grade 3 Philip H. Iselin; and Favorite Tale, fifth among three-year-olds, finished second in the Grade 3 Jersey Shore.
- Miss Besilu, the only Midlantic-bred in a Saratoga stake over the weekend, was dead game at monster odds in the Grade 1 Alabama. The Virginia-bred sophomore filly stalked a moderate pace set by Size, loomed a major threat, and was outfinished — but still held third, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths for all the money. Stophchargingmaria, the Black-Eyed Susan winner, earned the second Grade 1 of her career.
- Apparently, the mid-Atlantic grass actually is greener. Two horses this weekend used mid-Atlantic turf wins as springboards to Grade 1 triumphs. On Saturday, Hardest Core, who won the Cape Henlopen on the Delaware Handicap undercard, rallied to post an 11-1 upset in the Grade 1 Arlington Million. It was the second stakes win, first graded, for the Eddie Graham trainee. And in Sunday’s Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga, Main Sequence, winner of the Grade 1 United Nations at Monmouth, rallied from the rear to win the Grade 1 Sword Dancer by a head.