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Friday, August 31, 2007

Presque Isle Downs Update, Friday 8/31

Holy cow! Finally, word that some “big-time” horses are making their way to Presque Isle Downs.

Wayne Catalano is possibly aiming Lewis Michael, last winner of the Washington Park Handicap, at the $175,000 Presque Isle Mile on September 15.

Michael Trombetta’s undefeated 3-year-old filly Control System (winner of the G3 Cicada at Aqueduct last out in March) is being aimed for $90,000 Cozy Lace Stakes at Presque Isle Downs on September 21. She is shipping in from Saratoga where she wasn’t ready for the G3 Victory Ride Stakes.

One confirmed Del Mar shipper for Presque Isle Downs’ premier race, the $400,000 Masters Stakes on September 15, is West Coast trainer Don Chatlos’ Shaggy Mane, a 4-year-old Bertrando filly who won the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint at Gulfstream earlier this year, and last finished second behind River’s Prayer in the July 7 G1 Princess Rooney at Calder. She will fly to Lexington, KY, and then take an eight-hour van ride to Erie.

Today’s workout horses included:

The first confirmed Todd Pletcher trainee: Takes My Song (who went 4 furlongs in 1:01.40) is a half-brother to multiple Irish G3 winner Frost Giant (by Giants Causeway). He shipped in from Saratoga, where he last finished 7th in 10-horse field in a 6-1/2 furlong allowance race on August 4. He finished 4th in a 7-horse field in a 7 furlong allowance race at Churchill on June 30; his only other race was a 7 furlong maiden special weight at Gulfstream on March 3 (which he won).

Angel Island, another Steve Asmussen trainee who finished sixth in last year’s G3 Schuylerville Stakes (behind Cotton Blossom), and then placed the NATC Futurity at Monmouth in September. She worked 5 furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20.

Sir John Q, a 4-year-old claimer who’s been racing at Louisiana Downs where he most recently finished 6th in a 9-horse field, going 1-1/16 mile on turf. He worked 4 furlongs in a bullet 47.60.

Queen Hennessy K C, a 4-year-old King Cugat filly, went 3 furlongs in 36.80. Maybe her greatest claim to fame thus far is being on top of a $1 superfecta at Colonial Downs last June 19 that paid $119,016.90 (she paid $11.40 win)…however, there was only one winning ticket and it was a 10-cent ticket so they got the entire amount! Wow!

Explosive Impact, a 4-year-old filly who worked the same distance in 36.60, won a six furlong $12,500 claimer race at Finger Lakes on August 13 (paid $15.60 win). In her previous start, she finished 5th in 6-horse field in an 1-1/16 mile allowance race on a sloppy Mountaineer track. Trained last by Jared Schoeneman.

Her Baby Blues (who also went 3 furlongs in 36.60) won a 5-1/2 furlong allowance race at Prairie Meadows for trainer John L. Hall on July 27.

En El Fuego, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Steve Asmussen, shipped in from Lone Star where he finished 4th in an 1 mile turf allowance optional claiming race on June 14, then dropped down into straight claiming races, both fifth place finishes (on July 8, over 1 mile turf, and on July 29 over on a sloppy 1 mile dirt track).

I’ll tackle some of Saturday’s inaugural races, and post picks before race time. First post is 5:30 p.m.