Horse Racing News
Cannonball failed to fire at Flemington on Saturday as the first American-trained horse to run in Australia finished ninth of 11 in the Group 1, $450,000 Lightning Stakes, a five-furlong sprint that was taken by the Royal Ascot-bound Nicconi.
Trainer David Fawkes had been considering several spots for Duke of Mischief's next start, but there was little doubt where the Grade 3 winner was headed after he drilled five furlongs in 58.46 seconds and galloped out.
The role of leader for the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap on March 6 is up for grabs. Either the $200,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds next Saturday or the $150,000 San Antonio Handicap next Sunday should help fill that role.
American Lion has become the forgotten 3-year-old in California. Staying away from the races for more than two months can do that for a colt's reputation in the instant gratification world of Kentucky Derby preps.
While the focus of attention here at Gulfstream Park on Sunday will be on the Grade 2 Forward Gal Stakes and the 2010 debut of Eclipse Award champion She Be Wild, the undercard is easily the best of the meet.