“Always A Princess” Retired!

Always a Princess winning the GII La Canada last month!

Always A Princess was retired earlier today after suffering a heart-aching breakdown in the stretch of the GI Santa Margarita Stakes yesterday at Santa Anita Park.

She took a bad step while being eased after a galant early effort in leading this GI clash. As she when down she injured her left front ankle.

The 4-year-old filly was “moving comfortably” Sunday morning and was scheduled to undergo surgery Sunday for her injured left front ankle at the Equine Medical Center in Cypress, according to Jim Barnes, assistant to trainer Bob Baffert.

We wish her a very speedy recovery!

UPDATE:  Always A Princess came thorough her surgery just fine and the prognosis going forward for her looks good!

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GII “San Felipe” Stakes goes to “Premier Pegasus”!

Premier Pegasus dusting the San Felipe field!

In a mile and 1/16 race contest, run in lights out early factions, Premier Pegasus picked up the pieces of this dying, supercharged pace with a strong finish to win the GII San Felipe Stakes, for 3yo with a purse of $250,000 at Santa Anita today.

Coming 2nd was the favorite Jaycito out for his first try of the season. 3rd going to Bench Points with fourth going to Comma on the Top!

The real story in this race has to be the insane factions set here of 21:75, 44:58 and 1:08.98 in the first 3 panels so it’s little wonder the closers came at the end here today.

This race speaks volumes to the notion of correct rating and pace in a 2-turn event. The need for speed on the lead here at Santa Anita so far this meet isn’t going to succeed for long on this new dirt surface, at long distances. The Cal-bred poly horses were going to have all kinds of 2-turn problems with dirt shippers of championship distance quality! You folks in sunny So/Cal this is your 2-turn wake up call. Wakey Wakey!

So we did have the exacta for you here from our pre race posting thoughts netting you $24 for a $1 try!  So watch these crazy factions unfold in a race replay below!

Long shot “Miss Match” tops all in GI “Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes”!

Miss Match winning at the line!

In another shocker of an outcome today, 45/1 shot Miss Match nipped the favorite Switch at the line to win the GI $300k, going 1 1/8 mile for 4yo & up fillies and mares, Santa Margarita Invitational Stakes today at Santa Anita Park with Vision of Gold coming 3rd and St Trinians finishing 4th.

We had the 2nd, 3rd and 4th horses all picked out for you in our race preview but Miss Match winning here didn’t help our cause! This race did however illuminate something for us about this new Santa Anita dirt surface.

In year’s past on the poly surface here, at championship distances like 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 mile, horses like Switch, St Trinians and Always a Princess who were all brought up on the poly are starting to find that “dirt” is more demanding, especially in deep stretch at longer distances.

This race confirms last week’s Santa Anita Handicap outcome where Game on Dude with longer distance dirt experience held sway and Miss Match coming into her race today with a ton of east coast, longer distances, dirt experience just played well for her today against her polybred opponents.

So the So/Cal horses are going to have to learn to rate a little bit more in these longer route tests on dirt at Santa Anita or face more and more loses to east coast shippers who are coming out west to eat their lunch! See race replay below!

“Watch Me Go” wins a shocker in the “Tampa Bay Derby”!

"Watch Me Go"-winning the Tampa Bay Derby!

In a race reminiscent of last year’s shocking ending to the Florida Derby, this year’s Tampa Bay Derby ending may be even more shocking. The combination of a 43/1 winner in Watch Me Go and a 86/1 runner-up in Crimson Knight sent shock waves around the horse racing world today.

The 1/2 favorite Brethren here finished a tired 3rd back 6 lengths as he suffered the first defeat of his short career and maybe ending his derby hopes too.

What we have here are two 3yo’s who underwent what this old Handicapper calls “Explosive Growth” as sometimes happens with young 3yo’s who find they suddenly have more to give in a Big Time race like this one and it isn’t that rare of an event either. It is why wagering on untested 3yo’s can be very rewarding or very painful, depending on where you put your money.

So although we did have the winning horse and the 3rd place finisher among our early picks Crimson Knight wasn’t amongst them and at 86/1 why would he be. So “dear reader” that’s horse racing for you!    “See this shocking outcome replayed below”!