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One of the Parting Glass Stable members leads Dave to the winner's circle
New York racing moves to Aqueduct for the winter, where a field of twelve older horses faced the starter on Saturday afternoon in the $150,000 Red Smith Handicap (G2), contested at 1 3/8 miles on the turf before a crowd of just 3,590. German-bred Encinas was sent off as the lukewarm 3-1 favorite coming off a fifth place finish in the Awad Stakes which was his first American start. True Cause was the 7-2 second choice, a close second in the Awad last out after winning an allowance at Delaware Park. Florida shipper Golden Strategy at 6-1 rounded out the top three on the board, exiting an 11-length romp in the Jackwackie Stakes at Calder after finishing third in the Kentucky Cup Turf (G3).
Down the stretch with Dave taking the lead.
Golden Strategy went to the front right away and set the pace saving ground around all three turns through slow fractions of 24.65, 50.28, 1:16.80, and 1:42.81 over the yielding turf, while being stalked by 7-1 Operation Red Dawn the whole way. Encinas sat back in 8th taking the ground-saving path while True Cause trailed the field. Entering the stretch, Golden Strategy tired and faded to eventually finish 11th, as 15-1 outsider Dave, who raced out in the 3 path the whole way, came out wide into the lane for his rally. True Cause also took the final turn wide for running room. Dave gained a short lead at the 1/8 pole, after 1 1/4 miles in 2:08.94, and was all out to hold off True Cause by a length in a final time of 2:21.45. It was another length back to 18-1 Musketier in third, while favorite Encinas failed to show any late rally finishing a disappointing 10th.
# Horse Jockey Win Place Show 10 Dave Bravo 31.60 11.80 8.30 9 True Cause Velazquez 5.00 3.40 4 Musketier Samyn 10.60 $2 Exacta 10-9 191.00 $2 Trifecta 10-9-4 3,711.00 $2 Superfecta 10-9-4-11 62,207.00 Winning Time: 2:21.45Results Chart from DRF
Dave in the winner's circle. Robin Smullen, assistant to winning trainer Barclay Tagg said, "A lot of the horses in the race all are the same kind of horse. I thought we fit fine in there. We know that he likes soft turf and we know that he likes Aqueduct. I told Joe (Bravo) that when he moved, to get him to the outside. He had plenty of horse the whole race. He didn't get his trip late at all last time and he needs to get his trip. He'll have a little vacation and look to come back next year."
Left: Dave returns after the race.
Right: Dave in the paddock. His jockey Joe Bravo sad, "He's a pretty classy old horse.
Barclay (Tagg) and Robin (Smullen) made my job easy. They know the horse
like the backs of their hands. They told me step by step what they wanted. When he makes the lead he always wants to wait on horses, so it kind of got me worried when everybody made their move at the 3/8 pole. I just had to sit patient. At the top of the lane, I had plenty of horse. I had ridden him a year
ago at the Meadowlands and just missed (in the John Henry Stakes). Today, the turf course was a lot
better than I expected."
Right: Third place finisher Musketier acts up.
Left: Second place finisher True Cause in the post parade. Rick Mettee, assistant to Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of runner-up True Cause said, "He made a good run. I wasn't sure how he would handle the soft ground, but he got around there pretty good. He's the kind of horse that likes to grind it out. We've got to be happy with how he's progressed. He won a `two other than' at Delaware two starts ago. We'll take him down to Payson and try to find something at Gulfstream."
His jockey John Velazquez said, "His last two races, he's been improving. At the quarter-pole, he kind of waited. When the other horse passed him, he came on again. It was a good effort against good competition. He ran a good race."
10th place finisher and beaten favorite Encinas in the paddock. 3-1 favorite Encinas raced inside the whole way but had no response when roused by jockey Alan Garcia. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has not won since the Tasaheel Cup at Nad al Sheba in Dubai on January 26, 2006. His record is 3 wins, 2 seconds, and 3 thirds in 16 starts with earnings of $167,542 for Sheikh Rashid's Zabeel Racing International.
The undercard feature on Saturday was the $75,000 Lady Tak Stakes for 3-year-old fillies sprinting 6 furlongs on the main track. 9-5 favorite Your Flame In Me quickly opened a clear lead, setting fractions of 21.84 and 45.22 along the inside. Entering the stretch, she drew away to a 6 length lead in mid stretch and finished up 4 1/2 lengths ahead of 6-1 Frisk Her in a time of 1:10.76. It was another 2 lengths back to 7-2 third choice Half Time Crown in third. Your Flame In Me was making her first start since having angle surgery in the spring. Her last start was a fifth place finish as the favorite in the Miss Preakness Stakes at Pimlico.
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