At least one talented state-bred with serious aspirations of joining a Breeders’ Cup field some day ventured to nearby Laurel Park for a minor stakes.
Having already won her first four previous starts by a combined 26 lengths for trainer Scott Lake and owner-breeder Robert Cole, Jr., Jax And Jill was looking to display her speed on a bigger stage at Laurel when she went postward as the 3-5 favorite in the $125,000 Smart Halo Stakes for two-year-old fillies.
When the gate opened, Jax And Jill and Baby J both broke alertly to duel for command down the backside and the battle up front would eventually take its toll on both fillies. Jax And Jill weakened at the top of the lane and beat only one horse. It was the first setback in five starts for Jax And Jill, whose reputation was tarnished slightly after failing against open stakes company.
A pair of very talented fillies went postward in the $1million Breeders Cup Filly-Mare Sprint last Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Charles Town Oaks’ hero Strike The Moon and Oaks’ runner-up Groupie Doll, were looking for fame and fortune and it was Groupie Doll, considered the top member of her division, who was made the 4-5 favorite while Strike The Moon was a distant 35-1 outsider.
Soon after the gate opened in the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, Groupie Doll was away a step slow and bided her time as Teddy’s Promise led the field down the backside.
But when Groupie Doll launched her bid three-wide on the far turn the odds-on favorite easily lived up to her billing and drew clear late. It was the fifth straight stakes score for Groupie Doll, who secured at least one Eclipse Award with her latest impressive tally.
Sum of the Parts, game winner of the $400,000 Red Legend Stakes this summer, went postward as a distant outsider in the $1.5 million Breeders Cup Sprint. As he usually does, Sum of the Parts displayed plenty of speed early and led the field to the top of the lane then was collared by eventual winner, Trinniberg, and settled for fourth in a good outing.
The 2011 Charles Town Classic runner-up, Game On Dude, was looking to atone for his second-place finish in last year’s Breeders Cup Classic at Churchill Downs when he went postward as the favorite in this year’s edition of the $5 million affair for trainer Bob Baffert.
Heading into the Classic, Game On Dude had won all five of his previous starts over the Santa Anita main track.
Sent out as the 6-5 favorite in the Classic, Game On Dude delivered the worst performance of his career and failed to hit the board.
Instead, it was Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man who dueled well clear of the others in the final furlong where Fort Larned prevailed by a neck.