Sunday Stakes Recap

SUNDAY STAKES RECAP

KELSO HANDICAP

Tizway swept past Jersey Town at the top of the lane and easily pulled clear of the field en route to a five-length win in the $250,000 Kelso Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 3 at Belmont Park.

Trained by H. James Bond for William Clifton Jr., Tizway became a stakes winner for the first time in his fifth attempt. The 5-year-old horse was guided to victory by Rajiv Maragh, who also claimed the $250,000 Pilgrim Stakes (gr. IIIT) earlier on the Belmont card aboard Air Support. Tizway covered one mile on the fast main track in 1:34.42. Previously a turf race, the Kelso was scheduled for the Belmont dirt for the first time in its 30-year history.

Maragh gave his mount the perfect stalking trip, sitting just off the pace set by Jersey Town through taxing opening splits of :23.12, :46.03, and 1:09.68. Even-money favorite Regal Ransom was also close to the leaders through a half mile.

Not long after they reached the quarter pole, Tizway swept by Jersey Town from the outside, took a one-length advantage into the final furlong, and began to open up his lead. The son of Tiznow received a brief challenge from Cool Coal Man in upper stretch but was never seriously challenged on his way to victory.

Cool Coal Man was second under Julien Leparoux, one length in front of Jersey Town. Caixa Eletronica was fourth in a field of seven.

“It was definitely a well-deserved win for him,” Maragh said. “He’s always been running against some of the best older horses all over and to finally win like this was very good for him. I definitely wanted to get my horse involved because he seems to run better that way, and when I got to the middle of the turn I felt like still had a lot of horse left. Once I called on him in the stretch he just kicked on and finished up powerfully to the wire.”

As a 4-year-old Tizway won two of six starts, both in allowance company. He was fourth in the Whitney Handicap and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (both gr. I). The dark bay/brown horse ended his campaign by finishing 12th in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) in December. He won his 2010 debut in April in an optional claimer at Aqueduct and last out was third to Quality Road in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).

“All in all, I couldn’t be happier,” Bond said. “He did everything the way he was supposed to. When I get him right, he shows up. If he gets beat, it’s my fault. His last two works at Saratoga have been brilliant; the way he’s been galloping out has been amazing. If everything continues to go well, we’ll look at the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (on Nov. 6 at Churchill Downs). That’s plan A right now. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.” Tizway improved to 5-1-3 from 15 starts and raised his earnings to $453,274. Bred in Kentucky by Whisper Hill Farm, he is out of the Dayjur mare Bethany.

The winner paid $7.50, $3.90, and $5.20. The exacta (4-1) returned $39.80 and the trifecta (4-1-2) was worth $245.50.

Last year’s winner, Le Grand Cru, finished fifth, followed by Regal Ransom and Mythical Power. Convocation was scratched.

MISS GRILLO STAKES

Winter Memories, the 7-5 favorite in a field of 11, remained perfect in two starts when she used an electrifying move at the top of the stretch to pull away for an eye-catching 5 1/4-length victory in the $150,000 Miss Grillo Stakes (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) Oct. 2 at Belmont Park.

The 2-year-old daughter of El Prado is a Phillips Racing Partnership homebred. She broke her maiden by 1 1/2 lengths in her maiden special weight debut Sept. 3 at Saratoga going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. For the Miss Grillo, Jose Lezcano was back aboard the gray/roan filly, who covered 1 1/16 miles on the yielding turf course in 1:45.69. Jimmy Toner trains the winner, who is likely on her way to the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.

Reserved near the back of the pack for six furlongs, Winter Memories put herself in winning position rounding the far turn, but was still behind a wall of horses when they straightened away. When given the cue by Lezcano, she swept six-wide into the lane and in a flash went by eight rivals rivals while taking the lead approaching the eighth pole. She continued her sensational turn of foot through the final furlong and coasted to the wire much the best.

Arch Support, a 50-1 longshot under Edgar Prado, nosed out Fancy Point for second in a tight photo, with Excited another half-length back in fourth.

“In the first part of the race I was behind horses and when I moved in the clear she wanted to take a hold of the bit, so I had to take a hold of her again so I could wait for the quarter pole," Lezcano said. "Then I swung out and she just exploded. She has a really big and fast kick. I’m not surprised at her effort today; she is a really nice filly.”

Winter Memories earned $90,000 for the win and increased her earnings to $120,600. She is out of the Silver Hawk mare Memories of Silver, who was a multiple grade I winner on grass.

“She did everything we could ask for and more," Toner said. "I was concerned around the turn when she started to drop back, but Jose said she was trying to take him, so he checked her. She’s a big, long-striding filly, so we wanted to keep her clear.”

The winner paid $4.90, $3.90, and $3.10. The exacta (11-3) returned a hefty $214, while the trifecta (11-3-7) was worth $1,061.

Fancy Point set the pace before giving way at the top of the stretch. The Point Given filly led through fractions of :24.45, :49.47, and 1:15.04 under Javier Castellano.

by Jason Shandler
from bloodhorse.com

21
Nov

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