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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs

Presque Isle Downs’ opening day entries have been posted, with nice full fields, although it appears they still need enough jockeys to ride them all in some races.

It begins with the $100,000 Inaugural Stakes which, frankly, disappoints me a little as some of those “big names” nominated did not enter. Baby steps, I know. Still, some very nice runners here.

Scott Lake’s Cantrel (Gulch) has won 4 of 6 races this year, including a PA state-bred race at Penn National (by over 18 lengths!) for which she received a 106 speed rating. Dallas Stewart’s Unforgotten (Northern Afleet) enters off a narrow allowance win at Arlington; she only broke her maiden two races back. Tim Tullock, Jr.’s Automatic Appeal (Judge T C) comes off two allowance defeats on Belmont turf, and was far, far back in her only prior stakes attempt, the $100,000 Bouwerie.

Flint Stites’ All Giving (Allen’s Prospect) is a solid MD turf horse who’s turned it on as a 3 year old, never finishing out of the money in five straight AOC races at Pimlico, Colonial and Laurel. Two straight wins, and the last was taken off the turf. Michael Dickinson’s Coy Coyote (Honour and Glory) last ran in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks, where she finished 6th in 7 horse field. However, she is cutting back from routes to a sprint, and won a G3 stakes at Woodbine last September. Brian Ross’ Lottacosta (Cat Thief) beat Coy Coyote last July in the My Dear Stakes at Woodbine, but has not had nearly that level of success in stakes this year (0 for 4 in the money).

Steve Klesaris’ Dicey Girl (Yonaguska) is lightly raced, but impressive after breaking her maiden at Delaware on May 30, an allowance victory on June 20, and then a third place finish behind Featherbed and Allude in the Weekend Surprise Stakes at Saratoga on August 6. Steve Asmussen’s Tres Dream (Chester House) last won the Ponca City Stakes at Remington. Gerald Bennett’s L’s Lightning (Storm Boot) enters stakes company for the first time; man, she’s run 11 races this year, with 4 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds. Finally, Grant Hofmans’ Miss A. Bomb (Lemon Drop Kid) runs off a fourth place finish in the sloppy Calder G3 Azalea Breeders’ Cup Stakes, behind Sheets and Sindy With a S. Her big advantage is tons of all-weather track experience, at Keeneland and Turfway, and relative stakes success.

As soon as it is available, I will post Bris PP's here.