Stakes action morning through night

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Ted Black

March 27th, 2016

Saturday was one of those genuine rare days when both thoroughbred and standardbred racing fans could see many of the best horses compete for nearly two-thirds of the day.

Thoroughbred racing fans could relish the ultra-lucrative Dubai World Cup card as many of the best horses from across the globe converged to meet for purses of $30 million, one-third of which was designated for the Dubai World Cup at one-mile and one-quarter on the main track.

The World Cup was being billed as a clash between California Chrome, the 2014 horse of the year and the runner-up in last year's Dubai World Cup and Frosted, who chased 2015 horse of the year American Pharoah, the first horse to sweep the Triple Crown series on 37 years.

But the showdown never really materialized as California Chrome delivered one of his best performances in his career for trainer Art Sherman. California Chrome stalked the early leader through the first turn and down the backside, swept to command on the far turn and then drew clear in the lane to a three-length score in 2:01.92.

A five-year-old Lucky Pulpit stallion out of the Not For Love mare Love The Chase, California Chrome remained perfect in three starts this year and 12 wins and $12.5 million banked from 21 lifetime outings. He appears headed to his second horse of the year title in the last three years.

One race earlier Postponed lived up to his role as the even-money favorite in the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic when he powered clear in the lane to a three-length score. A five-year-old Dubaawi stallion trained by Roger Varian, Postponed has won both of his starts this year, four straight overall and seven of 15 races and banked nearly $4.75 million along the way.

Several races earlier on the card, Muarrab wore down speedy US invader X Y Jet to capture the Grade I, $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen by a neck in 1:10.62. Muarrab has won eight of 12 starts at the distance and boasts 13 wins in 25 career tries with earnings of more than $1.5 million.

Later that evening at Yonkers Raceway, Lucan Hanover, Bit Of A Legend N and Take It Back Terry all notched their second scores in the George Morton Levy Memorial Series for Free-For-All pacers.

Lucan Hanover has won all four of his starts this year for trainer Andrew Harris and appears primed for the $450,000 Levy final on April 23.

Bit Of A Legend N has also recorded a pair of Levy scores for trainer Peter Tritton while never really being asked. Bit Of A Legend N arrived from down under with a stellar contingent and also appears heads for the final.

Several races later in the final Levy split this week, Take It Back Terry say a pocket trip behind Ideal Cowboy through three quarters, angled out turning for home and romped home four lengths clear in 1:51.1 for his second Levy leg tally. He appears to be the best of the Burke brigade this spring.

Both Melmerby Beach and defending Levy final hero Domethatagain both joined the Levy win list. Opening round winners PH Supercam, Mach It So and Texas Terror N were upended this weekend, while Foiled Again settled for second this week after finishing fourth in round one.

Monday evening at Dover Downs, 2015 horse of the year Wiggle It Jiggleit will make his seasonal debut in a $60,000 Invitational against the razor sharp Rockeyed Optimist and Burke trainee Bettor's Edge. Wiggle It Jiggleit is then slated to compete in the final three legs of the Levy series.