Eagle shows signs of possible things to come in Tenacious
Under hand urging from Brian Hernandez Jr., Eagle came home 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Freestyler, with Ride On Curlin five lengths farther back in third. The 7-5 favorite in a field of seven, Eagle paid $4.80 after completing one mile and 70 yards on a fast track in 1:41.63.
This was the third consecutive win for Eagle, who captured allowances at Keeneland and Churchill Downs in his previous two starts. A close third in the Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill last November, Eagle finished a troubled seventh in the January 17 Lecomte (G3) at Fair Grounds and was then sidelined until September.
Trained by Neil Howard, the Candy Ride colt has now won five of nine starts with earnings of $195,406.
Kitten's Dumplings, the back class in the field of 10 fillies and mares in the $60,000 Blushing K. D., rallied from behind a slow pace to take a commanding lead in the stretch, but had to withstand a late surge from Street of Gold to score the neck victory.
A five-year-old homebred racing for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Kitten's Dumplings paid $6.20 as the 2-1 favorite under Manny Esquivel, who guided the Mike Maker trainee through about 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:46.64. Street of Gold was 2 1/2 lengths clear of early pacesetter Masquerade, an 11-1 chance.
This was the second stakes win of the season for Kitten's Dumplings, who also captured the $75,000 Little Miss Magic at Gulfstream Park West on October 24. A stakes winner at two, she peaked at three winning the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), Lake George (G2), and Regret (G3).
Kitten's Dumplings has now won eight of 20 starts with earnings of $797,815.
In the $60,000 Buddy Diliberto Memorial for older horses on the turf, Ibaka remained unbeaten in two lifetime starts on grass with a three-quarters of a length victory over Blarp. The 6-1 chance covered about 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.48 and paid $15.
Among the vanquished in the Diliberto were multiple graded stakes winner Potomac River, who finished third, and former Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) winner and 3-2 favorite Regally Ready, who wilted in the stretch and finished sixth in the field of seven.
Hero of the $126,000 Oklahoma Turf Classic at Remington on October 16 in his turf debut, Ibaka has also won three other stakes -- two for Texas-sired runners and the open $50,000 Texas Heritage at Sam Houston.
Ibaka is a homebred racing for Doug Wall. He's trained by Bret Calhoun and was ridden here by Richard Eramia.
Two-year-olds were also in action Saturday in a pair of overnight stakes. In the $50,000 Letellier Memorial for fillies, Above Fashion got the jump on 7-5 favorite Princess Kennedy and scored a 1 1/4-length victory in the six-furlong test. Ridden by Colby Hernandez, Above Fashion completed the distance in 1:11.61 and paid $6.40.
Owned by Brittlyn Stable and trained by Ron Faucheux, Above Fashion broke her maiden in her fourth start and then beat entry-level allowance foes, both at Gulfstream Park. In her past two starts, the daughter of Paddy O'Prado placed in the $100,000 My Trusty Cat and the Delta Downs Princess (G3).
In the $51,100 Sugar Bowl, Delta Downs graduate Taylors Angiel just held off 6-5 favorite Twirling Cinnamon to take the six-furlong dash by a nose under Shaun Bridgmohan. The 9-2 second choice prevailed in a time of 1:11.04 and paid $11.20.
A homebred racing for David Davis, Taylors Angiel is trained by Karl Broberg and was ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan. The Texas-bred by Private Zone captured his debut at Delta on November 13, scoring by 5 1/4 lengths going five furlongs.
Cash Control, a three-time allowance winner and third in the 2014 Eight Belles (G3) in her only prior stakes appearance, outclassed six rivals in the $50,000 Tiffany Lass overnight stakes for older fillies and mares. She won by 2 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:43.07 for one mile and 70 yards and paid $5.80 as the 7-5 favorite.
A homebred racing for Richard and Bert Klein, Cash Control is trained by Brad Cox and was ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
(Amanda Hodges Weir/Hodges Photography)