CHAMPIONS COME TOGETHER WITH WOWZA
Three-year-old American-bred dark bay colt Wowza achieved his first success in a three-year-old and upwards optional claiming ($400,000-$300,000) spread that included native-bred six-year-olds and upwards (non-winners of four) going six furlongs (1,200m).
Trained by champion Anthony Nunes and ridden by champion Anthony Thomas, Wowza made a sluggish exit from his starting gate draw but quickly rallied to sit in third place behind Salah (Phillip Parchment) and Bloodsweatandtears (Aaron Chatrie) down the backstretch.
Navigating the half-mile (800m) turn, Wowza began to make his move at the leaders and looked threatening in the bend. Wowza joined Salah entering the straight before pulling away to win by 5 ¼ lengths in a time of 1:15.1.
Salah held on for second place ahead of the fast-finishing Flowers Thirty (Samantha Fletcher).
AJITA COMES GOOD
Trained by Dale Murphy and ridden by Dane Dawkins, Ajita easily won a native-bred five-year-old and upwards (non-winners of four) and imported five-year-old and up (non-winners of three) event over seven furlongs (1,400m).
Ajita was relaxed in second place down the backstretch behind Gorgeous Gift (Matthew Bennett), who set the early pace. Approaching the half-mile, Ajita took control ahead of Gorgeous Gift, Bold Sami (Roger Hewitt), and Bin Laden, the mount of Anthony Thomas.
Ajita began to draw clear and never gave up her gallop in deep stretch, winning by 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Gorgeous Gift and Bin Laden. The final time was clocked at 1:28.3.
'WRIGHT' GETS IT RIGHT
Wright In Flight made light work of rivals in a native-bred four-year-old and upwards (non-winners of two) and imported four-year-old and up (maidens) at nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m).
Ramon Nepare broke the Michael Marlowe-trained Wright In Flight well at the off and settled the four-year-old chestnut filly in second place behind Slamsilano (Samantha Fletcher) most of the way.
Wright In Flight, running on the inside rails, surged to the front at the top of the straight and that was that for the rest. Wright In Flight won by 5 /4 lengths in a time of 2:00.2. Miss HJF was second and Slamsilano third.
TEN HORSES CLAIMED
The claiming box was busy as 10 horses went through on the 10-race card.
In the first race, Norman Smith claimed Miss Linda Wray for owner Orlando Mason from Donovan Plummer; Winchester McIntosh claimed Wowza for owner Richard Brown from Anthony Nunes; McIntosh also claimed Salah for owner Devon Brown from Phillip Elliott, and Steven Todd claimed Bloodsweatandtears for owner Patrick Hall from Errol Subratie. All horses from the first were claimed for $400,000 each.
Ryan Williams claimed Okahumpka for owner Blue Knights Stables from Donovan Plummer for $180,000, while Henry Harrison Jr claimed Papa Albert for owner Winston Taylor from Norman Smith, also for $180,000 from the fourth race.
In the sixth race, Donovan Plummer claimed Bugatti for owner Winston Lewis from Anthony Nunes; Dennis Pryce claimed Acero for owner Busy Racing Stable from Plummer; Leroy Tomlinson claimed Baton Rouge for owner Narco from Joseph Thomas, and Dennis Thwaites claimed Versatile Vision for owner Steve Cunningham from Nicholas Smith. All horses from the sixth race went for $1 million each.