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Personal Ensign Handicap Results

Passing Shot the winner of the Personal Ensign Handicap with Jose Santos up.

Dateline: 08/22/03

Allen "The Chief" Jerkens, the Hall of Fame trainer known as "The Giant Killer" for his history of upsetting favorites throughout history, made 1-9 favorite Wild Spirit his latest victim Friday afternoon. Under a deft ride by jockey Jose Santos, the four-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy rallied late to nip Wild Spirit by a nose and win the 56th running of the Grade 1, $400,000 Personal Ensign for fillies and mares at 10 furlongs. It was the third straight victory and first graded stakes win for Passing Shot, who returned $24.60 to win.

It was a strong showing for the filly, who sat off a deliberate pace of :24 4/5; :49 3/5; and 1:14 1/5 by Miss Linda and jockey Richard Migliore. As the leader swung for home, room opened on the rail for Wild Spirit, and Bailey drove her to what seemed to be another Grade 1 win for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. But things were about to get worse for Frankel. Sweeping around on the outside and with Santos keeping her attention with a right-hand whip, switched to his left, and back to his right as Passing Shot surged on the winner and got her shadow roll clearly in front of her rival at the wire in 2:03 1/5. Miss Linda held for third while Summer Colony, last year's Personal Ensign 'Cap winner, and Golden Sonata trailed.

The Personal Ensign Handicap

Purse: $400,000     Distance: 1 1/4 miles

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 4   Passing Shot       Santos          24.60    2.90  2.10
 1   Wild Spirit        Bailey                   2.10  2.10
 5   Miss Linda         Migliore                       2.10

Passing Shot just gets up over Wild Spirit in the Personal Ensign.
Winning Time: 2:03.33 $2 Exacta 4-1 43.60 $2 Trifecta 4-1-3 206.00
Results chart Race 9

The whole field first time by the stands with Miss Linda setting easy fractions.

Trainer Allen Jerkens, the "Giant Killer" had this to say about his nickname: "It's fun. A lot of people have fun with it. A lot of people are Giant Killers. A lot of favorites have gotten beat, no matter who trains the other horse. You can say the same things for "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons or Max Hirsch. There were so few horses in here, it's always nice to run in a small field with a big purse. If you get the other horses on their poor day and you're on your good day, you'll win. But you can't catch 10 horses on a poor day."

Passing Shot in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Jose Santos said, "I had a great trip. I was worried when I saw Bailey's horse (Wild Spirit) get through on the inside; she was a heavy favorite. I hit my filly right-handed and then left and then right and she found another gear. It was a great effort from her. I love riding for 'The Giant Killer,' especially in stakes races. You've always got a chance to knock off the favorite."

Second place finisher and heavy 0.20-1 favorite Wild Spirit in the paddock prior to the race. Bobby Frankel didn't have anything to say about the race but jockey Jerry Bailey said, "I had the best trip of anyone, but my horse also carried a lot more weight than anyone (122 pounds)."

Third place finisher Miss Linda getting saddled. She lead through a mile in relatively soft fractions but just wasn't good enough for the top two.

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