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Oct 12, 2012

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD

By: JOE GIRARDI


               Belmont followed up their Super Saturday card with another three more Grade I’s on Saturday October 6th when they hosted the Frizette for two year old fillies, the Champagne for two year olds and the Jamaica Handicap for three year olds run over the turf course.

               In the Grade I Frizette  run at one mile with a purse of $400,000 there was a field of seven before a scratch cut it to six early in the day. However, there were two late scratches at the gate when ROVEING PATROL acted up in the gate and she was scratched along with SWEET SHIRLEY MAE. Down to a field of four horses the 1-9 favorite in the race was the undefeated DREAMING OF JULIA from the Todd Pletcher barn, the second choice was MY HAPPY FACE who was coming off a 21 ¼ length win against maiden special weight company. As they broke from the gate, MY HAPPY FACE went right to the lead while DREAMING OF JULIA was not that far off sitting in second through fractions of 23:1, 46, 1:10:2. As they move into the far turn, DREAMING OF JULIA edged closer to MY HAPPY FACE and those two hooked up in a battle for the lead that lasted the length of the stretch with DREAMING OF JULIA getting up to win by just a head over MY HAPPY FACE who was second by more than 10 lengths. TOASTING, a 21-1 longshot finished third with NANCY O checking in fourth. The final time of the race was a slow 1:37 flat but the early fractions were fast and it took a toll on these two year old fillies late. DREAMING OF JULIA ran her record to 3 for 3 and she was expected to head out to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

               In the Grade I Champagne also run at one mile with a purse of $400,000 they had a field of six go postward after one scratch earlier on the card. The favorite in the race was another Todd Pletcher trainee, SHANGHAI BOBBY, who was 3 for 3 and was coming off a win in the Grade II Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga at the beginning of September. As they broke from the gate, GOLDENCENTS, a big wire to wire winner in his career debut at Del Mar went right to the lead under jockey Kevin Krigger with SHANGHAI BOBBY not far behind in second and FORTIFY, the Hopeful favorite racing in third. The early fractions of the race were 23:2, 47:2, 1:11:1, the second and third calls were much slower than the Frizette one race before. As they moved toward the top of the lane, SHANGHAI BOBBY (8-5) asserted himself and ran on by to score going away by five lengths and running his record to a perfect 4 for 4 in a solid final time of 1:35:2, a second and 3/5’s faster than the Frizette. The running order of the race didn’t change much as SHANGHAI BOBBY took over from GOLDENCENTS who finished second and FORTIFY checked in third. The highly regarded ARCHWARRIOR checked in fourth but was running on a bit at the end and may just need some more seasoning. MIRCOMANAGE was a disappointing fifth and the maiden, CHIEF HAVOC, who shipped in from England finished last. It looks like SHANGHAI BOBBY will put his perfect record on the line and run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.

               The Grade I Jamaica was next, a Grade I run over the turf at 1 and 1/8th miles with a purse of $400,000. There was a field of seven that went postward after an early scratch of UNBRIDLED COMMAND. The favorite in the race was DULLAHAN (8-5), who was coming off his upset victory in the Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar at the end of August. He had three turf starts earlier in his career with two seconds and a third. As they broke from the gate KING KREESA, a New York bred was sent right to the lead, with HOWE GREAT sitting second while KING DAVID tracked the leaders from third. The fractions of the race was 25:4, 52:1, 1:18, 1;41:1. They continued the same way into the far turn and approached the top of the lane with KING KREESA leading over KING DAVID, SUMMER FRONT was right in behind in third, the third choice in the race, COGITO wasn’t firing and DULLAHAN raced in the back of the pack and never really made a run checking in a disappointing fifth. As they continued through the lane, KING KREESA was battling with KING DAVID while SUMMER FRONT tried to squeeze through the rail but was forced to take up late costing him the race. KING DAVID continued on for the win at 28-1 over KING KREESA second at 23-1 and SUMMER FRONT a hard luck third.



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