When Ventura was nosed at the wire in last weekend’s Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita, it marked the first loss in 2009 by a 2008 Breeders’ Cup champion.
Stardom Bound, winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, is 2-0 this year and is being pointed to the Ashland Stakes at Keeneland on April 4. She is scheduled to leave for Kentucky on Wednesday, according to trainer Bobby Frankel, and will join the Rick Dutrow barn. Frankel leans toward training the Tapit filly up to the Kentucky Oaks on works, so we’ll see how that goes.
Albertus Maximus, Breeders’ Cup Mile champ, won the Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 31 and is readying for the $6 million Dubai World Cup on March 28. Considering that the Donn was his first graded victory, the connections might be shooting for the moon here, but we’ll see. He might be getting good enough to pull it off.
Desert Code won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at boxcar odds last October and returned to win his first race of 2009. He’s being pointed toward the Arcadia Handicap on April 4, a one-mile race over his favorite turf course.
Ventura, of course, returned to the races with an easy victory in the Grade I Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita on Jan. 31. Winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, she’s a tough mare who gives her all even when she loses, like in the Kilroe.