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HAWTHORNE NOTES

Contact: Jim Miller
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Mr. Miesque Impressive in Arsenault

For 18 seasons, Hawthorne has offered a chance for two-year-olds to take to the turf with big money on the line. Originally run as the Royal Glint, this race was renamed in 1997 to honor Hawthorne's late Racing Secretary Frank Arsenault. This year's edition of the Frank Arsenault Memorial Breeders' Cup Stakes found a very impressive Maryland-bred colt in the winner's circle.

As the gates sprung, jockey Eduardo Perez found his traditional stalker, McHenry Co. Kid on the lead being pressed by Tasty Caberneigh. Battling through early fractions of :23.25 and :46.25, these two were some three lengths in front of the bunch. Turning for home though, Tasty Caberneigh had nothing left and dropped out of things, but McHenry Co. Kid wasn't ready to throw in the towel.

In the early running of the race, as the two speedsters went to the front, Randall Meier found himself in perfect position as he sat just off the pacesetters in third aboard Unchained Storm. As Tasty Caberneigh fell back, it was Unchained Storm who was now the one tracking McHenry Co. Kid. Little did either of these two know that there was another horse waiting in the wings.

Entering the Saturday stake, the name Desormeaux was already well known here at Hawthorne as jockey Kent Desormeaux was in to ride Three Wonders in the Hawthorne Derby and Golden Missile in the Hawthorne Gold Cup. Unfortunately for Kent, he was unable to pull off a victory in either of the races. On Saturday though, it was his brother Keith in the winner's circle as his Mr. Miesque was victorious in the Arsenault.

Sitting back in the pack early on, jockey Casey Lambert and Mr. Miesque were able to save ground through the first turn as the field headed into the backstretch. Unhurried down the backside, Mr. Miesque entered the far turn still in last in the field of nine. Feeling he had enough horse, Lambert swung his colt wide in the turn and came charging down the stretch. Turning for home, he found himself only a length behind the front-runners and he blew right by them on his way to a one-and-a-half length triumph.

The two-year-old sired by Miesque's Son earned $60,000 for his victory as he is nominated for the Breeders' Cup. On his career, he now has three wins in five starts for $109,661 in earnings. After the race, jockey Casey Lambert was asked about his trip.

"He ran really good. We had a good trip," stated Lambert. "We tucked in around the first turn and we were back where we figured to be. Keith (trainer Keith Desormeaux) said he had been doing excellent and to just ride him like he was the best, and that's what I did. I had to get out from behind them sooner than I wanted to, but as soon as I got a little daylight, he picked them up without asking."

What's next for Mr. Miesque has not yet been decided, but don't be surprised to see more out of this fine horse as he matures throughout his career.

Jockey/Trainer happenings, etc.

Saturday's card also brought about three riding doubles for jockeys. Zoe Cadman, Alfredo Juarez Jr. and Larry Sterling bagged a pair on the card. Those wins vaulted Cadman and Sterling into a tie for second in the jockey standings with Chris Emigh as they sit one behind current meet leader Chris Valovich heading into Sunday's card.

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