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Patriots Rule rallies to win California Dreamin’ Stakes

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Long-shot Patriots Rule rallied from last to beat Ambitious Brew by a half-length Sunday in the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Stakes at Del Mar.

Patriots Rule ran 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:41.78 and paid $35.80, $12.40 and $6.60 his sixth victory in 21 starts. The 5-year-old earned $85,500 to push his total to $421,730.

“She broke well and I had a beautiful trip,” jockey Joe Talamo said. “I got over to the fence and tried to save all I could. When you’re coming from last, you’re looking for spots to get through. I didn’t want to have to go six-wide and lose all that ground. I got lucky with that and he had a good kick late. I like the way this turf course is playing. It’s fair. You can win on the front end, or you can win coming from the back – like I did.”

Patriots Rule was making his first start in almost a year for owner Charles Garvey and trainer Robertino Diodoro,

“Since we gave this horse a well-deserved rest, he’s come back working so well,” assistant trainer Sean Williams said. “Everything we’ve done with him has been a prep for this and it worked out perfectly.”

Ambitious Brew returned $6.60 and $4.60 in the race for California-bred horses.

“This horse tries hard every time,” jockey Flavien Prat said. “He’s a nice horse. This just might have been a little too far for him.”

Boozer paid $4 to show. Alert Bay was fourth, followed by Somethings Unusual, Soi Phet, Poshsky and Avanti Bello.

Hard Aces won the Grade 3 $100,000 Cougar II Handicap, beating Quick Casablanca by a half-length to end a nine-race losing streak that dated to the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez for trainer John Sadler, the 6-year-old Hard Aces ran 1 1/2 miles on the dirt in 2:30.55 and paid $2.80 and $2.10. He had seven victories in 33 starts with earnings of $999,645.

“He’s a grinder and a hard horse to ride because he pulls himself up and never wins by much, but he got a very good ride today,” Sadler said. “We’ll look at maybe something long on the grass near the end of the meet and we’ll obviously look at the Pacific Classic.”

Quick Casablanca returned $2.80 to place in the four-horse field. Favored Hoppertunity was scratched Friday morning.

Lady Eli ends skid with win in Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Lady Eli won the $300,000 Gamely Stakes for fillies and mares by a half-length at Santa Anita, ending a two-race skid as the heavy 3-5 favorite.

Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Lady Eli ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:45.29 on Saturday.

Goodyearforroses was second, followed by Avenge, Mokat and Pretty Girl.

Lady Eli paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. All but $18,388 of the total show pool of $315,505 was wagered on her in the Grade 1 race.

The 5-year-old dark brown mare has eight wins in 11 career starts and has never finished worse than second for New York-based trainer Chad Brown, who won the Preakness with Cloud Computing last weekend.

Lady Eli was coming off two close losses: by a nose in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April and by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf last November.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming to skip Belmont Stakes

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NEW YORK — Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming will skip the Belmont Stakes next month after finishing eighth in the Preakness.

Trainer Todd Pletcher says the 3-year-old colt will be pointed toward either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 29 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on July 30, according to the Daily Racing Form.

Trainer Chad Brown says he will wait until after the Memorial Day weekend to announce where Preakness winner Cloud Computing will run next. However, it appears unlikely he will run in the Belmont.

The Belmont field is limited to 16 starters. Besides Classic Empire, who came in second at the Preakness Stakes, other horses expected to run are Conquest Mo Money, Japan-based Epicharis, Gormley, Irap, J Boys Echo, Lookin At Lee, Meantime, Multiple, Patch, Senior Investment, Tapwrit, True Timber and Twisted Tom. Other possibilities are Irish War Cry and Hollywood Handsome.