It was a great result for Lane’s End-sired runners in the $500,000, G1 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park July 9, and a well-deserved first top-level score for STEPHEN GOT EVEN’s First Dude. Placed in five Grade 1s as a 3-year-old last year, including the G1 Preakness and G1 Belmont, the strapping colt earned a breakthrough win in the G3 Alysheba S. May 6, and was the public’s second choice in the 1 1/4-mile Gold Cup. Rating kindly well off the early leaders, the Donald Dizney homebred, trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, unleashed a resolute rally in the stretch and was up to take it over G1SW Game On Dude. First Dude can now boast earnings of over $1.4 million.
Back in third was TWIRLING CANDY, by CANDY RIDE (ARG), who put in a fine effort. This explosive colt, who will stand at Lane’s End when he retires from racing, won the seven-furlong G1 Malibu S. last December. Finishing fourth was PLEASANTLY PERFECT’s Setsuko.
On the same card, LEMON DROP KID emerged with another top 3-year-old prospect when the unexposed Dreamy Kid, a Robert S. Evans homebred, denied heavily favored Coil in the G2 Swaps S. LEMON DROP KID is also the sire of this year’s G2 winner Juniper Pass, G3 hero Wilkinson, as well as G3 Tercentenary S. and G2 Dante S. third Pisco Sour, a sophomore on the rise in Britain.
On Sunday, July 10, SMART STRIKE’s Never Retreat continued her terrific 2011 season with a victory in the G2 Dance Smartly S. at Woodbine. Bred by Gerry O’Meara and Stanley Inman and owned by Team Block, the 6-year-old mare previously won the G3 Honey Fox S. at Gulfstream and the G2 Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland and has now earned $680,091. In England, the 2-year-old filly Desert Gazzelle, by SMART STRIKE and a granddaughter of Lane’s End co-bred granddaughter of our G1 Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Status, was tabbed a TDN Rising Star after a dazzling first-out win at Newmarket, while another TDN Rising Star by SMART STRIKE, the $400,000 juvenile Smash, ran second in the G2 Carry Back S. at Calder.
All in all, one HOT July weekend for the Lane’s End boys to enjoy reading about now that they spend their days napping with the shed closed!