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Richard Migliore and Mr. Fantasy return after winning the 2009 Withers Stakes
The $150,000 Withers Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct is the last Kentucky Derby prep race on the New York circuit, but is more likely to be used for horses targeting the Preakness or Belmont. A field of just 5 three-year-olds went to post in this 1 mile event on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon, with This Ones for Phil sent off as the 9-5 favorite, who won the Swale Stakes by disqualification after finishing fifth in the Fountain of Youth, both at Gulfstream Park. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Just a Coincidence, third in the Wood Memorial behind I Want Revenge last out, and 3-1 third choice Mr. Fantasy, third in the Gotham after winning his first two career starts.
Mr. Fantasy nears the finish
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Mr. Fantasy Migliore 8.60 4.10 2.50 1 This Ones for Phil Dominguez 3.30 2.30 2 Gone Astray Prado 2.80 Winning Time: 1:34.91 $2 Exacta 5-1 23.80 $2 Trifecta 5-1-2 68.50
Left: Mr. Fantasy in the paddock before the race. Artie Magnuson, assistant to winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "He was a little hot in the paddock. He's not tough to handle, but he's a little bit tougher than we are. I think he does better when he gets out on the course and away from everybody. I was glad it didn't take anything out of the race."
Right: Mr. Fantasy in the post parade. Winning jockey Richard Migliore said, "My horse broke in a bit of a tangle, but he's such an athlete that he sorted himself out in two strides. I was able to drop him in and he was idling along nicely. He's got multiple moves. When I pushed the button, he just sprinted. I didn't want to hit him. At the 1/16 pole, the race was over. Kiaran (McLaughlin) and Artie (Magnuson) have done a tremendous job managing his mental attitude. If he would act better, I'd think he'd deserve a shot at the Preakness; he's that talented. Maybe in maturity, he'll pop out. But he's the best horse I've sat on in a while."
Second place finisher and beaten favorite This Ones for Phil heads over to the paddock before the race. The 9-5 favorite dropped back to last exiting the chute under new jockey Ramon Dominguez, encountered traffic trouble on the turn, came through on the rail but was no match for the winner. The Richard Dutrow Jr. trainee improved his record to 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third in 12 starts, earning $355,340 for owners Paul Pompa Jr., Jack Mandato, and Michael Dubb.
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