INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Favorite Pure Clan split horses in mid-stretch and outran Satan's Circus in the final sixteenth to win the $750,000 American Oaks by three-quarters of a length under jockey Julien Leparoux on Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Pure Clan, trained by Bob Holthus for IEAH Stables, Lewis Lakin and Pegasus Holding Group Stable, covered 1¼ miles on the Lakeside Turf Course in 2:00.50 to register her first Grade I victory and her sixth win in nine starts.
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Satan's Circus, one of four European shippers in the seventh running of the Oaks, was prominent throughout under Ioritz Mendizabal and finished a half-length in front of Canadian hope Clearly Foxy in third. Second choice Carribean Sunset finished fourth in the field of 12, followed by Missit, Magical Fantasy, Backseat Rhythm, pacesetter Raw Silk, Bel Air Sizzle, Zaskar, Annie Skates and My Baby Baby.
”I tell you, it took me 56 years to find a race I could win,“ the 74-year-old Holthus joked in the winner's circle after winning with the first horse he saddled at Hollywood Park. ”A lot of my friends came here in the '50s and '60s.“
Indian Blessing ends skid
NEW YORK — Indian Blessing, the champion 2-year-old filly last season, ended a two-race losing streak with a dominant victory Saturday in the $250,000 Prioress Stakes at Belmont Park.
John Velazquez was aboard for the first time as Indian Blessing powered to a 5¼-length win in the mud over By the Light.
”It was awesome,“ Velazquez said. ”She did everything so good. I rode her like she was the best horse, and that was the way she ran. It was really easy.“
The time was 1:09.36 for the 6 furlongs, and Indian Blessing earned $150,000 for Patti and Hal Earnhardt.
Indian Blessing, the 3-5 favorite trained by Bob Baffert, paid $3.30, $2.60 and $2.10. Overall, Indian Blessing improved to 6-for-8, including 3-for-5 this year.
By the Light, unbeaten in her previous five races, returned $3.40 and $2.40. Indian Way paid $3 to show.
Secret Gypsy was fourth followed by Tale of the West.
Presious Passion triumphs
OCEANPORT, N.J. — Presious Passion led wire-to-wire in the $750,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday, holding off Strike A Deal by a neck.
Trained by Mary Hartmann and ridden by Eddie Castro, the 5-year-old gelding covered 13⁄8 miles on the yielding turf course in 2:134⁄5, just a second off the course record. The win in the Grade 1 race was the eighth in 29 career starts for Presious Passion and earned him a spot in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf in October.
”I got the early lead pretty easily and I didn't have to use too much horse,“ Castro said. ”I was able to relax on the front end, and at the three-eighths pole I just let him go and he kept on going.“
In the co-feature, Notional won a spirited stretch battle with the favored Gottcha Gold en route to a 2¼-length win in the $300,000 Salvator Mile Stakes.
Screen Your Friend wins
LOUISVILLE — Screen Your Friend took a nearly 1-length victory over Lyin' Heart to win the Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Bernie Flint and ridden by Calvin Borel, Screen Your Friend gave Borel his second victory in the Bashford Manor. He won the race in 2000 aboard Duality.
Breaking from the rail, Screen Your Friend shot to the lead with long shot General Quarters in closest pursuit through the first quarter-mile. General Quarters briefly inched ahead on the far turn, but Screen Your Friend regained command at the head of the stretch.
Screen Your Friend covered the 6 furlongs in 1:10.84 over a fast track and returned $38, $13 and $4.80. Lyin' Heart paid $4.20 and $2.60 while Segal ran third, returning $3 to show.