Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park wrapped up spring-summer meetings over the weekend that saw plenty of interesting racing that proved there is plenty of life after the spring classics.
Plenty of major players in divisions that don’t include the 3-year-old males were in action.
Some delivered. Some did not.
Put Untapable in the former category. Already a 7 3/4-length winner of the Fair Grounds Oaks and 4 1/2-length victor of the Kentucky Oaks, the Tapit filly collected another major prize in the 3-year-old filly division with an absolute waltz in the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park.
Untapable, undoubtedly benefiting from the race-day scratch of Stopchargingmaria, recovered from a slightly awkward series of events at the start and won the Mother Goose by 9 1/4. The win was her fourth straight – all this year – and got her connections thinking about a possible run against males in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational July 27 at Monmouth Park.
The Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks a week earlier at Saratoga Race Course seems like a more logical spot. Untapable was due to ship from Belmont to Saratoga and start training over the Oklahoma Training Track Monday morning.
Watch Untapable win the Mother Goose. …
The nation’s handicap division looks a little different Monday morning than it did 48 hours earlier after the outcome of the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita. The race was previously known as the Hollywood Gold Cup and Game On Dude came into this year’s edition with back-to-back wins in the race.
The streak never really looked like it would continue in this year’s edition, with Game On Dude first chasing the speed of Fury Kapkori, then battling with eventual winner and runner-up Majestic Harbor and Clubhouse Ride before checking in fourth of seven.
Majestic Harbor, third longest price in the race at more than 14-to-1 for trainer Sean McCarthy and jockey Joe Talamo, romped by 6 1/4 lengths to join half brother Danza as Grade 1 winners produced by the French Deputy mare Champagne Royale. A 6-year-old by Rockport Harbor bred by Rob Whiteley’s Liberation Farm and Jim and Pam Robinson’s Brandywine Farm, Majestic Harbor has been consistent all season with a Grade 3 win and two placings in graded races in California.
The Gold Cup put him on another level, however, and a win like that will certainly resonate by the time Santa Anita reopens in the fall and when the Breeders’ Cup World Championships returns October 31 and November 1.
Speaking of resonating, the last time Wildcat Red was on the track it wasn’t a race to remember.
Wildcat Red finished 18th of 19 in the Kentucky Derby and his connections went back home to South Florida with a bitter taste. Trainer Jose Garoffalo regrouped with the D’wildcat colt who won two stakes this winter at Gulfstream and set his sights on the Quality Road Stakes at the same track.
He looked like a standout in the field of seven before the 1 1/16-mile Quality Road. And afterwards even more so as Wildcat Red won by 10 1/4 lengths under Luis Saez.
Garoffalo said another trip out of town was most likely next for Wildcat Red, with the Haskell Invitational the logical target.
Watch Wildcat Red win the Quality Road. …