Summer Colony the winner of the Personal Ensign Handicap with John Velazquez up.
Travers Weekend Stakes
Personal Ensign Handicap
Summer Colony stepped up as easily the top candidate for best filly or mare of the year with her decisive 4 1/2 length victory in the 55th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares at a mile and a quarter. It was her fourth win in six starts this year, she was second in the other two, with each win occurring at a different track and on both coasts. Her trainer Mark Hennig said: "I feel she is the best filly. It is not like Azeri came to us and we beat her. We went out there, gave her weight and beat her fair and square." Here he was referring to her win over Azeri in the La Canada in February at Santa Anita where she beat Azeri by a length.
Summer Colony's main rival was Canadian champion Dancethruthedawn who won the Go For Wand in her last start. Those two ran neck and neck for the first mile with Dancethruthedawn leading most of that distance. After a mile, Summer Colony took over and drew off to a convincing victory. Dancethruthedawn tired in the stretch and faded to third while Trancendental moved up to take second.
Purse: $400,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Summer Colony Velazquez 3.70 2.60 2.10 1 Trancendental Prado 4.20 2.10 4 Dancethruthedawn Bailey 2.10
First time by and it was already Dancethruthedawn and Summer Colony out front. Dancethruthedawn's trainer Mark Frostad said: "We were both surprised to be on the lead. He wasn't going to take her back behind the other filly going :48 and change because weren't going to beat her that way, either."
Summer Colony in the winner's circle. Her trainer Mark Hennig said: "I was glad to see the race unfold the way it did. I told Johnny (Velazquez) that Jerry (Bailey) might be the only one to send inside of you. This race was a lot less trauma on the heart than the last time (a neck victory in the Delaware Handicap)."
Summer Colony in the paddock before the race. Hennig said: "She was anxious to get out there and do it today. She is so fun because she let's you know what she's thinking. She was all business today. She stayed relaxed in the paddock and didn't get too hot."
Second place finisher Trancendental with jockey Edgar Prado getting a leg up from trainer H. James Bond. Bond said: "The best horse won. She seems to have `seconditis;' when you run against horses like this, unfortunately that's the way it goes. She ran her best today, that's all you can say. She's in the right direction. She is very consistent. Unfortunately, there is another filly this year that is just a little bit better."
Third place finisher Dancethruthedawn heading to the track for the post parade. Her trainer Mark Frostad said: "I don't think that running with Summer Colony early is what hurt us. I'm not sure that a mile and a quarter is her best trip. The winner was a convincing winner."
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