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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Toast Of New York advances Classic claims with game second to Mind Your Biscuits

Toast Of New York: performed well on first start since being gelded
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Churchill Downs: Lukas Classic Stakes (Grade 3) | 1m1f | 3yo+ | dirt

Toast Of New York earned himself a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a running-on second to Mind Your Biscuits in the $200,0000 Lukas Classic.

Second in the 2014 Classic at Santa Anita, Toast Of New York had not raced since flopping in the Pegasus World Cup in January, after which he was gelded.

“I’d say that’s not too shabby after not running for so long,” said trainer Jamie Osborne. “He was a bit rusty but that’s to be expected. I think it warrants us to stick around a little longer here in Kentucky. Hopefully he’s all right after the race and we will figure out our plan regarding the Breeders’ Cup.”

Whether Mind Your Biscuits, winner of the 6f Golden Shaheen at Meydan, heads to the Breeders' Cup Classic, Dirt Mile, or Sprint is still to be determined after his four-and-three-quarter-length victory under Tyler Gaffalione.

"This tells us we're going to have a lot of decisions to make in a couple of weeks," trainer Chad Summers said. "He showed us what he had to show us.

"He showed us that the Whitney wasn't a fluke over a sealed track, that it wasn't a suck-up second. The one thing I wanted was to make sure he finished up and galloped out well, and Tyler stayed after him and made sure of that."

Accelerate asserts in the closing stages of the Awesome Again Stakes

Also on Saturday

Santa Anita: Awesome Again Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m1f | 3yo+ | dirt

Breeders' Cup Classic favourite Accelerate (John Sadler/Joel Rosario) made life difficult for himself but still managed to grind out victory in his prep for Churchill Downs.

Reluctant to load and then slowly away, Accelerate had to work his way through the field and challenged three-wide into the stretch, yet he was able to pass main rival West Coast (Bob Baffert/Mike Smith) to win by two and a quarter lengths.

Sadler said: "It’s a good feeling that we might go into the Classic the favourite because I like being the favourite. He’s a good horse, doing great and probably the best horse in the country now, clearly. We’ll be ready.”

West Coast is second favourite for the Classic, and Baffert said: “He’s got a chance to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic with this race under his belt. He made that horse run today. We got beat by a really good horse. This race will really set him up well for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.”

Santa Anita: Rodeo Drive Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m2f | 3yo+ f&M | turf

Former claimer Vasilika (Jerry Hollendorfer/Flavien Prat) stretched her winning sequence to seven with a half-length success. Claimed for $40,000 in February, Vasilika put herself into contention for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, which connections will now consider.

Santa Anita: American Pharoah Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m½f | 2yo | dirt

Game Winner (Bob Baffert/Joel Rosario) took his record to three wins from three, including two Grade 1s, with a dominant four-and-a-half length success.

Santa Anita: Chandelier Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m½f | 2yo fillies | dirt

Bellafina (Simon Callaghan/Flavien Prat) produced her best performance yet to win by six and a half lengths.

Handled by former Newmarket trainer Simon Callaghan, Bellafina was completing a hat-trick after winning the Grade 2 Sorrento Stakes and Debutante Stakes at Del Mar.

Churchill Downs and Santa Anita results


I’d say that’s not too shabby after not running for so long
E.W. Terms
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