Eddie Kenneally's acquisition this past summer of the Anstu Stable horses has worked quite well and he reaped another benefit on Saturday when Blues Street won the River City Handicap at Churchill Downs. The 7-year-old gelding bided his time past the stands the first time, made a move into the far turn, took command straightening for home and drew off to win by four lengths under Robby Albarado. He paid $7.40 to win.
Kenneally also got a win on the Sunday card at Churchill Downs when Em Fleur's A Boy Named Em rallied in the slop under Corey Lanerie to win the eighth race, a maiden special weight sprint. The first-time starter returned $24.40 to win.
John Good also came out on top in Louisville, sending out Brereton Jones' Sympathy Act to capture Wednesday's third race at Churchill. The winner, a 3-year-old filly, was pitted here against males, but was up to the task under the guidance of Roberto Morales, stalking the early pace and going on to prevail by one-half length at the wire in this condition claiming sprint at the $15,000 level. She paid $6.20 to win and is now undefeated in two career starts.
Shane Ryan's Race to Urga rallied to prevail by three-quarters of a length in Friday's eighth race at Aqueduct. The 3-year-old homebred filly, trained by Christophe Clement, took the measure of first-level allowance rivals competing at a mile and one-sixteenth on the grass. She paid $5.60 and was ridden by Ramon Dominguez.
Trainer Tom O'Keefe bagged his first win of 2011 when Tickled Pink's Flower Exchange got up to win Woodbine's second race on Saturday by one-half length under Emma-Jayne Wilson. The 4-year-old filly seems to do her best work at this time of the year. She won her first race of 2010 almost a year ago to the day, and then came back two weeks later to put a little Christmas cash in O'Keefe's pockets. The win mutuel came back $14.80.
Three races later, Mike Doyle put over a surprise when Windhaven's Peyton held on to break his maiden by, dare we say, a neck. Manning the reins on Peyton, which had failed to hit the board in five previous starts, was Justin Stein. The 2-year-old gelding paid $43.90 to win.
The first race of the day at Parx was the place to catch winners from the Cathal Lynch barn last week. On Monday, Peachtree Stable's Mistress Quickly got the job done. The 2-year-old filly, making her fourth career start, was in the mix the entire trip of this 2-turn route for maidens at the $12,500 claiming level. She was actually headed in the stretch, but came again under Angel Arroyo to get the head bob. She returned $4.80 to win.
Tuesday's winner was Gold Mark Farm's Zuerstgold, which took the measure of maiden routers at the $16,000 claiming plateau in his fifth appearance under silks. Arroyo had this 2-year-old gelding in contention from the get-go, and they took the lead around the far turn, widening to a 3-length advantage at the wire. Zuerstgold also paid $4.80.