Horse Racing News by James Scully
Outta Tune entered Saturday's Grade 3, $250,000 Count Fleet Handicap in career-best form, reeling off three straight impressive wins at Oaklawn Park for trainer Chris Richard, but the former $4,000 claimer was stepping up to make his graded stakes debut.
Reigning Horse of the Year Havre de Grace, fresh once more after the spoils of victory attained Saturday afternoon at Fair Grounds in the $150,000 New Orleans Ladies, was standing quietly in her stall early Sunday morning.
Musical Romance will look to rebound when she lines up for Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Inside Information at Gulfstream Park.
Mucho Macho Man continues to establish himself as a serious player in the older horse division, posting a convincing victory in Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Gulfstream Park Handicap.
Augustin Stables' homebred Smart Bid caught Mr. Vegas in the final strides of Saturday's Grade 3, $122,500 Fair Grounds Handicap, posting his first victory since last year's Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.
Starlight Stable's Thunder Moccasin remained perfect in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Hutcheson Stakes, drawing off to an impressive 6 3/4-length score, and provided trainer Todd Pletcher with his third winner of the afternoon at Gulfstream Park.
Sanagas was sold following his victory in the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup on November 19 and will be pointed toward the Melbourne Cup later this year by his new connections.
Alpha opened his three-year-old season with a 2 1/2-length score in the January 7 Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct and will remain on the inner track for Saturday's Grade 3, $200,000 Withers Stakes.
Speed proved to be the ultimate weapon in Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 Palos Verdes Stakes, which lost its luster when recently-named champion Amazombie scratched earlier in the day due to wet conditions.
After being left alone on the early lead, Our Nautique managed to stave off the desperate late rally of Bold Chieftain in Friday's Grade 3, $100,260 All American Stakes, winning by neck over the Tapeta track at Golden Gate Fields.