Tom's Tribute, Somali Lemonade and TrackAttacker Turn Heads

This week in horse racing proved to be full of surprises and head turning results. Following is a recap of the past week's racing headliners, which could be setting the track for the upcoming Breeder's Cup. However there are many races leading up to that prominent race, and as is common in the horse racing industry, show stopping performances can come out of nowhere. These kinds of upsets certainly make for an interesting week in legal horse betting action.

Breeder's Cup Hopeful Tom's Tribute Makes a Statement

Tom's Tribute ran in second place pretty much the entire race before deciding to take over lead position in Sunday's $300,000 Grade I Eddie Read Stakes at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racetrack in Southern California. Jockey Mike Smith was instrumental in urging the four-year-old colt to pull away at the end. The 1 1/2 length victory over favorite and early leader Summer Front was over 9 furlongs on the hard turf in 1:46.01. This marked the first victory that horse has seen in a graded stakes, and was prefaced by an average looking fifth-place Grade I Shoemaker Mile finish at Santa Anita last month. Winning trainer Jim Cassidy was all smiles, claiming that he was going to " vote for Mike Smith for the Hall of Fame next year." The Tom's Tribute trainer said that plans were to run the Lion Heart colt on the Del Mar Mile instead of this race, but now he is definitely thinking about the Breeders' Cup. (I am sure that Cassidy is aware the talented Mike Smith was inducted into the Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.)

Underdog Somali Lemonade Makes Flavorful Run to Win Grade I TVG Diana Stakes

With a name that certainly doesn't sound too tasty, Somali Lemonade ran a complete race showing multiple abilities to win Saturday's $500,000 Grade I TVG Diana Stakes at Saratoga. Moving into the stretch, the five-year-old Lemon Drop Kid mare looked to be simply holding her ground. She then looked outside for running room, and improved to the lead with just 1/16 of the track to run. She showed courage and late speed, holding off both Stephanie's Kitten and Discreet Marq for the "by a neck" victory. The 11 - 1 upset was run on firm turf in 1:48.51. Jockey Luis Saez was on top, present for Somali Lemonade's 3rd win in her last 4 starts. Winning trainer Michael Matz seemed happy but perplexed, stating that, "She's doing really well right now. She's better now at 5 then she was her whole life." It is still uncertain where he will run the improving five-year-old next.

Big Trouble Overcame Some and Won By Waking Up Late

In two-year-old action this past Saturday's $250,000 Grade III Sanford Stakes at Saratoga showed a torrid pace early. Seemingly happy to run well off of the lead early on, Big Trouble decided to cause exactly that for the other horses in the race. After substantial bumping with Mr. Z, both of those horses moved past the fast pack and towards the lead. It took a final push and a win by a neck for Big Trouble to take the victory. Cinco Charlie finished 1 1/2 half lengths behind Mr. Z. in third. Big Trouble is a colt out of a Tiz Wonderful / Silver Lullabye pairing, and covered the 6 furlongs on a quick track in just 1:10.64. Irad Ortiz Jr was in the irons, and the victory was not certain until the outcome of a steward's inquiry was finally posted. Trainer Tony Dutrow said that the Grade I Hopeful on September 1 is a logical target for the colt's next race.

Trackattacker Wins by 11 Lengths, and Private Prospect by 5 1/2

In a couple of blowout victories, Trackattacker appeared shot out of a cannon in this Sunday's limited field $50,000 Emerald Express Stakes for two-year-old colts and geldings. The 11 length prohibitive odds win over 5 rivals, coupled with long odds Monster Wave placing, produced some very big paydays. Trackattacker also won his first start by 9 lengths, and is definitely a horse to watch. Down the stretch in Saturday's $75,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile at Prairie Meadows, Private Prospect flew by favorite Brookerson and seemed to be running on a private track at the end as the colt scored an impressive 5 1/2 length victory. The fast track win came in 1:04.85 with Alex Birzer on top. That effort gives Private Prospect 2 wins in 2 starts, the first at Arlington Park on an all-weather track. Another horse to keep an eye on moving forward.

Two-Year-Old Fillies Making Some Noise

Strawberry Baby scored an easy 7 1/4 length victory in the $75,000 Prairie Gold Lassie at Prairie Meadows this past weekend. Wild Notion placed, with Cats West showing. Strawberry Baby is a daughter of Warrior's Reward, and covered the fast track in 1:04.19. She now has 2 wins in 2 starts. My Fiona moved to the lead in the stretch during Friday's $100,000 CTBA Stakes for state-bred two-year-old fillies at Del Mar, then courageously held off the favorite. Lost Bus settled for second by a neck. Fashion Alert didn't look too fashionable at the start of Friday's $250,000 Grade III Schuylerville at Saratoga, but gave in to jockey John Velazquez' direction to score a 1 1/2 length victory. The two-year-old Old Fashioned filly ran a fast track in 1:11.78. Trainer Todd Pletcher says the August 31 Spinaway is probably up next.

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