HOT SPRINGS, ARK LEXINGTON, KY. — LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Pistols and Roses shot his way back into the Run for the Roses with a wire-to-wire victory in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland yesterday.
The gray colt, who dominated the 3-year-old scene in Florida this past winter before tailing off, exploded out of the starting gate, set the pace throughout and held off 70-1 shot Conte Di Savoya to win by a neck.
Despite earlier victories in the Bahamas, Everglades and Flamingo Stakes, Pistols and Roses was overlooked by a record Keeneland crowd of 29,031 and paid $19.80, $8.60 and $5.40 in the $500,000 event.
Conte Di Savoya, who rallied from eighth place and was catching the winner with every stride, paid $48.60 and $18. Ecstatic Ride, a 35-1 chance, was 2 1/2 lengths farther back and returned $12.20.
The 11-3 Exacta paid $1,578. Time for the 1 1/8 miles was one minute, 49 seconds.
The race's major disappointment was Dance Floor, the 6-5 favorite owned by the Oaktown Stable of rap star Hammer. Dance Floor was in perfect position and third throughout the race, but flattened out badly in the stretch and lost by 4 3/4 lengths.
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. -- Heavily favored Best Pal proved he could win on the road by running down Sea Cadet and Twilight Agenda to capture the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park.
Best Pal, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, pulled even with the leaders at the top of the stretch and gradually wore down his competition to win by a 1 1/2 lengths.
Best Pal, the richest horse in training with about $3.1 million in earnings, had won 11 times in his career but never outside California until yesterday. The 4-year-old son of Habitony carried 125 pounds and spotted his six opponents from 2 to 16 pounds.
Owned by the Golden Eagle Farm, Best Pal completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 and returned $3.40, $2.80 and $2.20. He also picked up 10 points for winning the third leg of the American Championship Racing Series.
Tropical Park Derby
MIAMI -- Overwhelming favorite Technology cruised to victory in the $223,600 Tropical Park Derby at Calder Race Course, earning a start in the Kentucky Derby with his third consecutive triumph.
Majestic Sweep, a 32-1 shot, led early and held on for second, 1 1/2 lengths behind Technology, on tracks rated as good despite afternoon rains.
Technology, 4 1/2 lengths back approaching the far turn, swept past Catire Bello leaving the three-eighths pole and then breezed by Majestic Sweep.
"The track was very tiring," Technology rider Jerry Bailey said. "But I'm satisfied. He did everything just right." Technology covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:53 and paid $2.80, $2.80 and $2.20. Majestic Light paid $18.20 and $6.60. Always Silver paid $2.60 to show.
ALBANY, Calif. -- Treekster scored a front-running win in the $300,000 California Derby, digging in against a determined challenge from Disposal to finish in front by a neck.
The 3-year-old colt, owned by a partnership that includes Hollywood producer Alan Landsburg, covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 and returned $10.60, $5 and $4.40.
Landsburg said after the race that the group, in consultation with the trainer, would decide in the next few days whether to run the horse in the Kentucky Derby.