Pauline’s Pearl wins second Ladies Classic to highlight Houston Racing Festival

Pauline’s Pearl wins second Ladies Classic to highlight Houston Racing Festival

Sam Houston Race Park hosted the Houston Racing Festival this weekend, and the action did not disappoint. The Saturday card featured five stakes races, including two Grade 3 features that garnered some of the biggest names in American racing.

In the first stakes race of the afternoon, the Bara Lass, Izatiz came from off the pace to take command on the far turn and was able to pull away from the field. Blushing Belle finished second, with Stelliot’s Legacy coming in third. Izatiz was trained by David Gomez and was ridden by Reylu Gutierrez.

The Groovy Stakes saw Vietnam Victory set the pace and outspring the field to win by three lengths over Lil Sweet Thang and Mor Victory. Vietnam Victory was ridden by Jose Alverez and trained by Bret Calhoun.

Andthewinneris captured the Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile Stakes. Andthewinneris set just off the pace in the early going and engaged in a thrilling stretch duel with Private Creed to win by a narrow margin in a photo finish. Winters Lion finished third. Andthewinneris was trained by Wayne Catalano, and the winning jockey was Carey Lanerie.

Pauline’s Pearl returned to claim her second consecutive victory in the Houston Ladies Classic (G3). The returning champion got a great trip allowing Hidden Connection, Sixtythreecaliber, and She Can’t Sing to battle for the lead early and then sweeping by on the outside to take command in the stretch. Hidden Connection was able to get up for second edging She Can’t Sing. Steve Asmussen and Stewart Elliot combined as the trainer and jockey, respectively.

In that last race of the day, Scarlet Fusion upset the favored Spooky Channel in the John Connally Turf Cup (G3). Another Mystery and Spooky Channel lead for much of the way, and Spooky Channel looked to be in a perfect position until Scarlet Fusion swept home late in the stretch to snatch the win. Another Mystery outlasted Spooky Channel for second in a photo finish.

In the biggest national race of the weekend, Art Collector won the Pegasus World Cup. The son of Bernardini swept to the front on the far turn and made a quality field look very ordinary, pulling away to win by open lengths. Defunded was able to finish second, while Stiletto Boy was third.

Bob Baffert trainee Arabian Knight proved to be as good as advertised in the Southwest Stakes (G3). The leader at every pole, Arabian Knight jumped from the gate to take an early lead and proved to be much the best as he cruised home in front on a wet track. Picking up 20 Derby qualifying points, this colt will be one to watch.

Checking in on our Horses to Watch:

Friday – Race 2 – Samurai Cause – Battled for the lead early and pulled away for the win.

Saturday – Race 6 – Stelliot’s Legacy – She was finishing hard and fast, just ran out of real estate, came in third.

Sunday – Race 9 – Mission Bell – Racing for Sunday was canceled due to inclement weather.

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