Summer Colony was beaten for sure in Sunday's $600,000 Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park - hopelessly trapped in traffic while Your Out blew on by to a commanding lead early in the stretch run.
At least, that's how it seemed. But when John Velazquez finally got Summer Colony room to run, the 4-year-old daughter of Summer Squall was up to the seemingly impossible challenge and nailed Your Out just as the pair crossed the finish line.
"I was trapped between Starrer and Two Item Limit," said Velazquez, "I had to force my way out of it coming to the three-eighths and quarter pole. At the three-sixteenths pole, I really had to push it out. Finally when I got out, she really responded."
Your Out's trainer, Graham Motion, almost couldn't believe the results. "I went from thinking she had it won to watching her get nipped at the wire," he said. "It was a very emotional swing."
The victory was Summer Colony's eighth in 16 lifetime starts and she now has three wins and two seconds from five trips this year.
Winning trainer Mark Hennig noted that Summer Colony already has beaten division leader Azeri - in the La Canada this past winter at Santa Anita. He said he plans to give his filly two more races, including the Aug. 23 Personal Ensign at Saratoga, before an expected rematch with Azeri in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park on Oct. 26.
Saturday's $250,000 Delaware Oaks could produce a Distaff contender from the 3-year-old ranks. Allamerican Bertie, with Larry Melancon up, dueled Alternate into submission, then drew off to win the 1 1/16-mile event by 6 ¼ lengths. Alternate held second over Pass the Virtue. The time was 1:43.81. "We'll probably run her in the Alabama (Aug. 17 at Saratoga)," said winning trainer Steve Flint. "The mile and a quarter really intrigues me."
Among those Allamerican Bertie might find waiting at the Spa is Jilbab, the Godolphin Racing miss who captured Saturday's $350,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park by 1 ½ lengths over Tarnished Lady. Jilbab, a daughter of A.P. Indy, ran 1 ½ mile in the Oaks in 2:31.48 under Mike Luzzi, winning from well off the pace after stumbling badly at the start. "I just kept her in back after that," Luzzi said. "I didn't use her until we hit the quarter pole. I think her pedigree helped her get the distance." The favorite, Chamrousse, broke sharply to take the lead but jockey Jerry Bailey said he couldn't get her to relax and she finished fourth.
In other weekend races with potential implications for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships:
John Deere Turf
Mananan McLir took a stride toward home-court advantage in the Turf by winning Sunday's $225,000 American Derby at Arlington. With Rene Douglas up, the Royal Academy colt saved ground along the inside until the field turned for home. Then, he eased out for room and got home first, ¾ length ahead of Irish invader Jazz Beat. Trainer Wally Dollase said Mananan McLir might move along to the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes on Aug. 17, the 1 ¼-mile final leg of Arlington's Mid-America Triple and a potential stepping stone to the Breeders' Cup. "My main thing was to try to relax him," Douglas said of Mananan McLir. "He relaxed perfectly. I covered him up the whole way." Irish-based jockey Patrick Smullen said a faster pace would have helped Jazz Beat. "But the winner was a little bit too tough for us today."
Miesque's Approval, with Jerry Bailey up, had little trouble winning Sunday's $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds at Delaware Park. Bailey said Miesque's Approval was uncharacteristically aggressive in the early going and he found out why in the final furlong as the colt drew off to win by 4 ¼ lengths over Regal Sanction. "The idea with him is not to get him to the lead too soon," Bailey said. "But as it turned out, he was much the best today. For a while, I was wondering why he was so close so soon." Bill Mott trains the son of Miesque's Song.
Grammarian won Sunday's $250,000 Sunset Handicap by a head over Continental Red and survived an inquiry before the result was made official. But the victory may send the 4-year-old son of Definite Article down under, rather than to Chicago, this fall. Winning trainer Kellyn Gorder explained that owner LindseyWilliams, a native of Australia, "had a dream. He always wanted to bring a horse back to Australia to run. Since this horse broke his maiden last September, it has been more than a dream." Williams said that to run in the Melbourne Cup in November, a horse must win or place in a major stake. Mission accomplished.
Magic Weisner, the longshot runner-up in the Preakness Stakes, stalked Wiseman's Ferry almost all the way around the course in Saturday's $300,000 Ohio Derby at Thistledown. Then, under strong handling by jockey Richard Migliore, Magic Weisner wore down his pace-setting rival in the final sixteenth to win by a neck. The Judge Sez Who was well back in third. Owner/trainer Nancy Alberts credited Migliore with engineering the victory in a field of just four starters. She said she will consider Magic Weisner for the Haskell at Monmouth on Aug. 4 or the Travers at Saratoga three weeks later, depending on how he rebounds from the Ohio Derby exertion.
At Woodbine on Sunday, Sam-Son Farm sent out the 1-2 finishers in the $300,000 Chinese Cultural Center Stakes as Strike Smartly nosed out Quiet Resolve for first-place money. Muntej was third. "As soon as he saw daylight, he just kicked on," said winning jockey Laurie Gulas. "When the hole opened up so wide, he was very brave and he just kicked." The 5-year-old finished the 11 furlongs in a track record-tying time of 2:13.16 over a fast main track. Quiet Resolve finished 10th in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf. The year before, he was second in the same event.
On the injury front: Belmont Stakes upset victor Sarava suffered a fractured leg in a Tuesday workout at Churchill Downs and is done for the year. Trainer Ken McPeek said the vet told him, "with time, the colt will come back 100 percent." And trainer H. James Bond said Tuesday Buddha tore a muscle and will not be able to contest the summer races at Saratoga. But Bond said he still hopes to get Buddha into shape for the Classic.
Filly& Mare Turf
New Economy - we could use one! - rallied from far back to win Saturday's $150,000 Robert G. Dick Memorial Breeders' Cup Stakes at Delaware Park by 1 ¾ lengths over Rhum. Jennasietta was third. New Economy, a 4-year-old Red Ransom filly, ran the 1 3/8 mile on firm turf in 2:17.78 under Ramon Dominguez. She now has won four of nine starts.
Crowned Dancer led from gate to wire in Sunday's $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship, finishing 2 lengths ahead of Outta here. Chief Planner was third and the favorite, Kafwain, was fourth after a slow start. Crowned Dancer, a Florida-bred son of Tactical Advantage, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.10 under Alex Solis. Said winning trainer Christopher Paasch: "My eyes are wide open for the Breeders' Cup. He's bred to go long. It's time to start dreaming."
At Monmouth, Farno went into Saturday's $50,000 as a maiden but ran like a veteran, catching the leaders in the final strides to win by a head. The son of Tactical Advantage ran 5 ½ furlongs in 1:05 and trainer Frank Generazio said he will look at the Aug. 10 Sapling as a next step.
In other weekend racing:
Bruanna upset Sunday's $75,000 Light Hearted Stakes for fillies and mares going 6 furlongs. The 4-year-old daughter of Housebuster scored by a neck over the favorite, Haunted Lass. She ran the race in 1:11.55.
Saturday, Bowman's Band took charge in the stretch to win the $100,000 R.R.M. Carpenter Memorial Stakes by 2 1/4lengths. The 4-year-old son of Dixieland Band ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:42.97. He now has won half of his 10 lifetime starts.
Canada won't have a Triple Crown winner this year, either. Queen's Plate winner T J's Lucky Moon was pressured through the early stages of Sunday's Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and folded in the stretch, finishing 10th. Taking advantage of the situation was Fort Erie-based Le Cinquieme Essai, who stalked the leaders and then went past them to win by ¾ length. Bravely and Anglian Prince also finished well to take second and third. "It turned out the way we hoped," said winning jockey Brian Bochinski. Steven Bahan, rider of T J's Lucky Moon, blamed the pace pressure. "We didn't get to go as slow as we did in the Plate," he explained. And, yes, for you French speakers: Le Cinquieme Essai was making his fifth lifetime start.
At Woodbine on Saturday, Sambuca on Ice came from the back of the pack to win the $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes by ¾ length over Saratoga Prince. The favorite, Wake at Noon, finished third. Sambuca on Ice, a 5-year-old son of Bold Executive, ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.06, scoring his fourth win of the year.
Bonapaw carried his speed through the full mile of Saturday's $100,000 Hanshin Handicap, leading the field home in 1:34.00, the fastest mile since Arlington reopened in 2000. Repulsing challengers at the top of the stretch, Bonapaw drew off to win by 2 ¼ lengths. "He was happy all the way around," said winning jockey Gerard Melancon. "I knew if I could keep him happy and relaxed, they weren't going to beat him." Silder finished second and Discreet Hero third.
Missme came six-wide into the stretch in Saturday's $60,000 Regaey Island Stakes for 3-year-olds and got up in time to win by ¾ length over Entitlement. Minerveeni was third. The 1 1/16 mile on the grass was timed in 1:44.96. "Missme is an overachiever," said winning trainer Lynn Whiting. "He'd gone far beyond our expectations. But sometimes, when you have a sound, durable horse like he is, it works out this way."
Sherpa Guide let others lead the way in Saturday's $75,000 Evan Shipman Handicap for New York-breds. Then in the stretch, the 4-year-old son of Ends Well took charge and won by 3 lengths over Turnofthecentury. Mount Intrepid was third. The 1 1/16 mile went in 1:42.71.
Island Skipper moved to the lead on the turn for home in Saturday's $50,000 Roman Brother Stakes and drew off to win by 2 ½ lengths over Sebastian Light. The favorite, Thiscannonsloaded, finished third. The 1 1/16 mile on a fast track took 1:46.01. "He didn't break that good so I sat behind and he kept dragging me," said winning rider Jose Rivera II. "I had a lot of horse in the stretch."
April's Lucky Boy settled under first-time rider Kirk LeBlanc in the early stges of Saturday's $50,000 Bossier City Handicap, then took over in the lane to beat favorite Kamolia by a neck. Nocturnal Vision finished third. "I finally got him to settle down halfway around the first turn," said LeBlanc. When I picked him up and asked him, he really came running," April's Lucky Boy ran the 1 1/16 mile on the turf in 1:44.51.
Sunday, Due to Win came from last to win the $40,000 Delicada Stakes for fillies and mares by 1 lengths over pace-setter BlueGuru. The 7-year-old daughter of Lac Ouimet finished the 1 1/16 mile on the green course in 1:46.12.