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Around the Backstretch (5/24)

A look at some of the key headlines in thoroughbred racing on this Monday morning:

Free Fighter by two in Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs - ESPN
Chicago invader Free Fighter got a great trip from just off the pace and went swooping to victory Saturday in the 73rd running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Louisville Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Treat Gently rebounds in Sheepshead Bay at Belmont - ESPN
Treat Gently, a 5-year-old mare coming off dull next-to-last-place finishes in the Santa Ana Handicap and the Jenny Wiley, rebounded to win the 52nd running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont Park on Saturday.

Belmont hopeful Fly Down works at Saratoga - ESPN
Two of the 10 horses expected to run in the $1 million Belmont Stakes here on June 5 put in half-mile workouts Saturday in New York.

Hollywood Park Cancels Live Racing May 26 -
Pointing to an insufficient number of entries, Hollywood Park announced that it has canceled its May 26 program. Live racing will resume at the Inglewood, Calif., track on May 27.

Leparoux to Miss Five Weeks With Spine Injury -
Top jockey Julien Leparoux will be sidelined at least five more weeks with a spine injury suffered in a spill during a race May 14 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore.

Bay to Bay, Workin for Hops win convincingly at Arlington - Thoroughbred Times
Bay to Bay surged clear to a dominant win in the $200,000 American 1000 Guineas, and Workin for Hops coasted to a front-running win in the $100,000 Arlington Classic Stakes on Saturday at Arlington Park.


And some news from Europe:

Goldikova dazzles in season debut in Prix d’Ispahan - Thoroughbred Times
Last year, superb miler Goldikova (Ire) was unable win at the 1,850-meter (9.20-furlong) distance of the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-G1) in her season debut, but she went on to win four of five subsequent starts, including a repeat win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), en route to the Eclipse Award as champion turf female and the Cartier Award as Europe's champion older horse.

Japanese Oaks produces rare Group 1 dead heat - Thoroughbred Times
Apapane and Saint Emilion dueled through the straight at Tokyo Racecourse in a thrilling battle to the finish line in the Yushun Himba (Jpn-G1) (Japanese Oaks) with neither game filly willing to concede an inch.

Canford Cliffs Cruises in Irish 2000 Guineas -
Canford Cliffs rewarded trainer Richard Hannon's faith in his ability with a rousing three-length victory in the Abu Dhabi Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh May 22.

St Nicholas Abbey tops 19 acceptors for Epsom Derby - Brisnet Handicappers' Edge
A total of 19 contenders remained in the £1.25 million Derby (Eng-G1) following Thursday's forfeit stage, Epsom Downs announced Friday. There is one final chance to enter the June 5th classic, with supplementary entries having to be made by noon (British time) on May 31st, at a cost of £75,000.