Awesome Again Stakes

New Details Emerge on California Crown

Coming off a highly successful Pegasus World Cup Day at Gulfstream, which handled $47.3 million, $3.4 million more than last year, the 1/ST Racing team will now set its sights on creating a similar afternoon of racing at Santa Anita. 1/ST Racing CEO Belinda Stronach announced on NBC's broadcast of the GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. that a day similar to the Pegasus is being created for Santa Anita and will be held Sept. 28. The event will be called the California Crown and the premier race on the...

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Mandella Rules Out Travers; Mulling Options with Geaux Rocket Ride

Pin Oak Stud's Geaux Rocket Ride (Candy Ride {Arg}) exited his victory in the GI Haskell S. in good order, trainer Richard Mandella reported Sunday. The victory earned the lightly raced colt an automatic berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic and Mandella said he has several routes to consider to get to that Nov. 4 race at Santa Anita. The Sept. 23 GI Pennsylvania Derby at Parx, the Sept. 2 GI Pacific Classic at Del Mar and the Sept. 30 GI Awesome Again S. at Santa Anita are...

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Defunded is Dominant in Native Diver

Grade I winner Defunded, who skipped a shot at the Breeders' Cup, kept it rolling with a popular score in the GIII Native Diver S. Sunday at Del Mar. A second-out graduate last March at Santa Anita, the gelding was fourth in both the GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby and GIII Pat Day Mile S. before running second in the GIII Affirmed S. and GIII Los Alamitos Derby. Scoring a pair of blowout allowance/optional claiming victories, he was a hard-fought runner-up in the GI Hollywood Gold Cup S. May 30,...

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Dialed In's Defunded Upsets the Awesome Again

Defunded, who had been knocking on the door at the graded level for the last year and a half, picked a good time to break through as he led home a one-two for Bob Baffert in this "Win and You're In" qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Runner-up in both the GIII Affirmed S. and GIII Los Alamitos Derby last term, the chestnut was transferred to Sean McCarthy for his first two tries of 2022--a dominant optional claiming tally going a local mile and a runner-up finish in the...

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Medina Spirit Cruises in WAYI Awesome Again

For 110 seconds on an unseasonably hot Saturday afternoon in Southern California, all was right in the world of Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit (Protonico). Having given last Saturday's GI Pennsylvania Derby a miss, the blue-collar colt was rerouted to Saturday's GI Awesome Again S. and a first try against some accomplished older horses. With a berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic on the line, the Florida-bred once again displayed the tenacity and raw ability that carried him past the post first in the GI Kentucky Derby, leading every...

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Stallion-Making Potential For Improbable and Promises Fulfilled

When considering stallion potential, brilliance and precocity are rarely left out of the equation. But a unique find emerges when a headlining juvenile can carry out his talent as a sophomore and even as an older horse before beginning his stud career. Two of WinStar Farm's new recruits for 2021, Improbable (City Zip) and Promises Fulfilled (Shackleford), showed brilliance early on in their careers as flashy debut winners before each went on to become stakes winners at three and four. We spoke with WinStar's David Hanley on the pair of...

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The Week in Review: Clout Heading into Classic, Older Horses or Upstart Sophs?

We're now inside the six-week mark for the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. Is your money on an older horse winning the season-capping dirt route championship race or one of the 3-year-olds? Both divisions have a respectable upper crust of candidates. Neither age group has a dominant, standout star who towers over his peers. Improbable (City Zip)'s last-to-first, 4 1/2-length shakedown of the GI Awesome Again S. field at Santa Anita this past Saturday nudged him into tepid early favoritism for the Classic. The Oct. 10 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup...

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