Great success in North America this weekend for Italian connected horses.Wakanaka winner of the 2021 Premio Regina Elena(1000 guineas) and joint top miler in our ratings of Italian three year olds last year with Cantocorale and Aria Importante cantered home in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly stakes.The Jean Brennan bred daughter of Power and the Kodiac mare Storyline had previously been runner up in the Grade 1 Just A Game Stakes at Belmont also over a mile.This however was easily her best performance since joining Team Valor from Diego Dettori and she will surely be challengeing for grade 1 honours in the future. Wakanaka’s juvenile half sister Storyinthesand is with Marco Botti at Newmarket.She made a nice debut in June when third at Kempton.
Island Of Love (Kodiac-Misham) bred by Razza Del Velino won the Premio Eupili(LR)in 2021 before being sold to the US where she joined the Phil D’Amato stable.She quickly won the grade 3 Senorita Stakes and on Saturday finished a close third in the San Clemente Stakes(G2)over a mile.The winner Bellabel was ridden by Umberto Rispoli enjoying an excellent season in California.
Dolce Zel (Zelzal-Dolce Attesa) bred by the Nicola Galli owned Scuderia Micolo won the grade 3 Lake Georges Stakes at Saratoga also over 1600 metres.She had already won in 2022 the Florida Oaks(G3 1700 metres)Last year she had been at Chantilly with Alessandro Botti where she won her only start.
Back in Italy racing had to be abandoned at Merano on Sunday after a deluge of rain in the Tirol area left the track dangerous. Unfortunately the authorities made the decision when a large crowd had already assembled at the Maia track.The best race of the weekend was the Premio Novello (HPC 1600m)at Varese where the bottom weight Jar Jar Binks (Big Bad Bob-Rue Bonaparte) won for the tenth time in the hands of the upcoming star of Italian racing Sara Del Fabbro. Bred by Skymarc Farm the Camila Trapassi trained mare had a short neck to spare on the top weight Sopran Nausicaa with She Looks Like Fun third.
On the same card the Maria Murgo trained,Churchtown House stud bred Il Ginodellecacce won a decent handicap over 2100 metres.The Pride Of Dubai colt was winning for the third time.
Tagliacozzo staged one of its top meetings with the highlight being the Premio Citta Di Tagliacozzo (2150m) where Torquato was a convincing winner.Giuseppe Ercegovic rides the track perfectly and here the son of Ruler Of The World came with a sustained run to catch the brave front running effort of Swiftest.The five year old was winning for the sixth time,the second this year .The brave decision of Vincenzo Messina to send Tarquato all the way from Sicily paid off perfectly for a horse who started out life with Alduino Botti for whom he won the Premio Firenze(HPC 2200m).The dam Torrechiara is a sister to Turati, runner up in the Derby Italiano and the Premio Roma and among her produce is Tramaglino with Bruno Grizzetti who was runner up in the Filiberto before being down the field in the Derby.
Ferro E Foco trained by Roberto Di Giacinto won the Premio Federalpol(1600 metres)The son of Muhaarar and the dual group 3 winner New Providence was winning for the eight time and was bred by Christopher Humber.
At Sassari on Saturday Killer Gray (Markaz-Emzoon bred by Ger Mcnulty in Kildare) was an easy winner of the juvenile Premio Osilo over the minimum trip despite running very greenly.The Antonio Cottu trained colt made his debut over 1500 metres when second and the obvious target now is the Criterium Turritano over the latter distance at Sassari on August 6.The Lisieux Stud bred Jllary(War Command) won the closing race on the card to gain her tenth win.
Perhaps the most impressive winner of the weekend was the three year old filly Lovely Moment(Australia-Eurirs).The Team Botti trained and bred is a half sister to Romantic Wave winner of the Carlo D’Alessio(G3) and two other black type winners Reset In Blue and Dematil as well as the four year old handicapper Glenearn. Lovely Moment when roused by Dario Vargiu simple destroyed the field and is clearly improving.
Racing this week is at Varese on Tuesday,Corridonia on Thursday,Follonica and Naples on Fiday with Sassari and Varese on Saturday.The first two year old black type race of the year over 1500 metres the Criterium Varesino and the HPC Premio Giovanni Borghi will be the highlights at Varese.Livorno,Tagliacozzo and Merano will stage cards on Sunday.The Tirolian track will host a mammoth ten race mixed card with the highlights being a two year old race for debutantes on the flat and a traditional three year old hurdle race the Premio Pasqualino Mazzoni also for newcomers.
VIDEO 1: Island Of Love winning the 2021 Premio Eupili is winning big in the USA
VIDEO 2: Wakanaka wins the Regina Elena is now one of the top mile fillies in North America