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horse racing
Zivo returns after winning
the Commentator Stakes, his 5th straight win.

horse racing

2014 Big Apple Showcase Day Stakes Results

Date: 05/31/2014

On Saturday, Belmont Park hosted Big Apple Showcase Day, a series of 7 stakes races races for New York-breds with a total of $900,000 in purses. Conditions were excellent with a fast track, partly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the high 60's, with 5,985 fans in attendance just a week before the Belmont Stakes.

horse racing
Zivo wins the Commentator Stakes
The highlight race of the card was the $200,000 Commentator Stakes, for older horses going 1 mile around one turn of the main track. Zivo was sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the field of 13 over 6-1 Prohibition and 13-2 Pinball. Jockey Jose Lezcano sent 17-1 Weekend Hideaway to the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 22.69, 45.29, and 1:09.51 while stalked by 15-1 Big Business and 22-1 Crafty Dreamer. Weekend Hideaway held a short lead over Big Business to mid-stretch, but Zivo, last early, closed 5 wide late to win by a neck over Big Business in 1:34.11 over the fast track. It was another 3/4 length back to pacesetter Weekend Hideaway third.

Full results chart

Cherie DeVaux, assistant to winning trainer Chad Brown said, "He's such a professional, gutting it out and getting there right when he needs to. I'm sure everyone heard me cheering for him. He waits until the very last second, but he knows what he's doing." Jockey Jose Ortiz added, "I was worried because the track is playing fast. There was a little traffic but I asked him to go little by little. I saw Big Business was ahead by 3 lengths when I got clear, so I thought maybe I wouldn't get there, but I kept riding and he kept flying."

horse racing
Isabelle wins the Bouwerie Stakes
horse racing A field of 8 three-year-old fillies contested the $125,000 Bouwerie Stakes at 7 furlongs. Jockey Alex Solis sent 5-2 Isabelle to the lead down the backstretch through fractions of 22.21 and 44.75 while 2 lengths in front of 16-1 Champagne Ruby. Entering the lane, Isabelle opened up a 3 length advantage through 3/4 in 1:09.03, and easily held off late-running 22-1 Storied Lady to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:22.20. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 3-1 Flipcup third, and 2 1/2 more to 2-1 favorite Henry's Gal fourth.

Full results chart

Winning trainer Lisa Lewis said, " It was three weeks back from a big, big effort, so I was definitely concerned about that. The extra furlong, too, and she's so fast I knew it'd be hard to keep her rated. The main thing with her is getting her to settle, but she's making everyone look good. Alex is great that way. He works with this barn." Jockey Alex Solis added, "We always thought she was nice; she keeps improving more and more. Today she ran them off their feet. She has a high cruising speed and just did her thing."

horse racing
Captain Serious wins the Mike Lee Stakes
The $125,000 Mike Lee Stakes featured a field of 8 three-year-olds sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Jockey Jose Ortiz sent 7-5 favorite Captain Serious to the lead and he set fractions of 23.22, 45.73 while stalked by 5-2 second choice Loki's Vengeance. Entering the lane, Lokis Vengeance tired allowing Captain Serious to open up a 4 length lead through 3/4 in 1:08.83. He cruised past the post 3 lengths in front of late-running 9-2 Empire Dreams in 1:20.99. It was another 3/4 length back to 9-1 Deceived third.

Full results chart

Winning jockey Jose Ortiz said, "I was hoping that Loki's Vengeance was going to go to the lead, but he didn't break well, and I knew the track was playing fast so I decided to go. I took the lead and after that I was just a passenger." Trainer Mike Hushion added, "Jose said he's been watching the track; he ran on it yesterday and knew the cushion wasn't the same. I think he can go on a little bit, distance-wise. He seemed nice and relaxed on the lead. His mother (Madame Diva) was one of my favorite horses ever."

Mah Jong Maddnes wins the Mount Vernon Stakes
horse racing The $125,000 Mount Vernon Stakes featured a field of 7 older fillies and mares going 1 mile on the Widener turf. 6-1 Mah Jong Maddnes went to the lead and set fractions of 24.36, 47.61, and 1:11.68 over the firm course while pressed by 26-1 Lady's Lunar Luck. At the top of the lane Mah Jong Maddnes opened up by 1 1/2 lengths, and held off late-running 2-5 favorite Effie Trinket by 3/4 length in 1:34.42. It was another 2 lengths back to Lady's Lunar Luck third.

Full results chart

Winning jockey Taylor Rice said, "We were a little worried about pace. But we broke on top and I have a pretty good relationship with her that I can take a big hold. She settled for me real nice. When she did that, I thought, 'Now all we have to do is wait it out.' When we got to the head of the lane I had loads of horse left." Owner Joseph Gioia added, "She, like many other Freuds, has gotten better and better with age. If they can stay sound and stay healthy, they just keep getting better. We see it every year. We took her to South Carolina, which has done a tremendous job with her conditioning and schooling. Going up and down the hills there has just strengthened her so much."

Kharafa wins the Kingston Stakes
The first stakes race of the card was the $125,000 Kingston Stakes featuring 8 older horses going 1 mile on the Widener turf. 8-1 Street Game set the pace of 23.17 and 46.38 while stalked by 5-2 second choice Kharafa. Entering the stretch, Street Game tired allowing Kharafa to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:09.97. 2-1 favorite Lubash rallied from 6th but Kharafa easily held him off by 1 length in 1:32.85. It was another 3 lengths back to 54-1 longest shot Hidden Vow third.

Full results chart

Winning trainer Timothy Hills said, "He gets real strong and he gets almost rank. Javier picks his hands off his neck and he calms down rather than wrestling with him. It makes all the difference in the world. We'll just stay with the series. I think there's one coming up at Saratoga (West Point on August 24). I think we'll find something in between." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "I was right where I wanted to be. I didn't see much pace in the race, my horse broke sharp and he put me in a good spot. Basically, today I was just a pilot, and he took me to the wire. I didn't think anybody could catch him, because I felt him going very fast."

horse racing
La Verdad wins the Critical Eye Stakes
horse racing A field of 8 older fillies and mares contested the 1-turn mile in the $200,000 Critical Eye Stakes. 18-1 Princess Mara was quickest out of the chute through an opening quarter in 23.32 before 2-5 favorite La Verdad took over through fractions of 46.14 and 1:09.93. She entered the stretch with a 3 length advantage, with 10-1 Hot Stones giving chase. La Verdad easily outfinished Hot Stones by 1/2 a length in 1:34.30. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to 31-1 Lady Gracenote third.

Full results chart

Winning trainer Linda Rice said, "She's truly a sprinter. It's a little stressful running a filly who is truly a sprinter at a mile, but it was the best option we had. From here on out, I can shorten her up. The Honorable Miss is 6 furlongs, and it's 7 furlongs in the Ballerina. Typically, speed does pretty well at Saratoga; I think that will help us with the 7 furlongs. She's a Grade 2 winner right now. If we can make her a Grade 1 winner, that would be a huge asset for her going forward." 

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