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HAWTHORNE NOTES

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Classic Appeal heads Nominations for High Alexander

With only three weeks to go in the Hawthorne meeting, there's still quite a bit of fine racing action on tap. On Saturday, the 4th running of the $100,000 added High Alexander Stakes will take place, with 10 horses nominated to the event.

To be contested at one and one-sixteenth miles over the main track, the High Alexander is restricted to colts and geldings, three years old and upward, with all entrants registered in the state of Illinois.

Although there may not be twelve entrants heading post-ward for this event, the quality of those who run will be of top caliber.

Leading the cast of nominees is Asiel Stable's Classic Appeal. A three year old gelding by Classic Account, Classic Appeal has been impressive in his short career. Trained by Richard Hazelton, Classic Appeal went unraced as a two-year-old but has shown his worth in his ten races at three.

After a second-place effort in his debut, Classic Appeal rolled off three straight triumphs, with the middle of those being a two and a half length win in the $75,000 Harham's Sizzler at Sportsman's in April. Staying in state-bred competition for his next two starts, Classic Appeal would defeat allowance company by three and a half lengths before heading into the one mile Springfield at Arlington. Sent off at odds of 6-5 in that start, he sat just off the early leaders before kicking in at the end. The late run came up just short as he finished a neck behind Out of My Way.

He returned to crush allowance company by four lengths before getting a month off. Returning in the Bet Twice Stakes on August 19, he would drop to the back of the pack out of the gate, and didn't fire until late in the stretch. Gaining ground with leaps and bounds in the six furlong event, he would run second, beaten a length and a quarter.

Once again splitting stakes tries with allowance tests, he cruised to victory in open allowance company before heading to Keeneland for a stakes try. Sent off at 5-1 in the Perryville, he would sit near the back of the pack before closing in the lane to be beaten a head by Smokin Pete. At this point, he had finished first or second in all nine of his starts for 2000.

In his most previous effort though, Classic Appeal never fired, running sixth in the Lightning Jet, here on November 11. On the season, he has earned just over $200,000.

Horse Cents Stable's Mister Volare may pose the top threat to Classic Appeal in this spot. The three-year-old gray by Roscius, Mister Volare is always easy to pick up early in a race. Dropping to the back of the pack early in all of his starts, Mister Volare unleashes an enormous late kick that has helped him grab a pair of wins, both on the turf in 2000.

In his last two efforts, both in state-bred stakes company, Mister Volare was able to grab a three-quarter-length win in the Know Your Aces Stakes, and most recently a second in the Illinois Coronet Handicap. Hitting the board in six of 13 starts in 2000, Mister Volare has earned $113,564 for trainer Harvey Vanier.

One that may surprise in this spot is Rick Linday's Spanish Hall. A winner only once in 2000, Spanish Hall has rounded into form in his last two starts, running to a pair of second-place finishes in optional claiming allowance company. A four-year-old by Spanish Drummer, Spanish Hall has earned just over $80,000 in 2000.

Rounding out the list of nominees for the High Alexander are: Delaneyimoutahere, Game Bird, Itsyourbid, Shadow Mountain, Spanish Top, Yougottabuck, and Zennamatic.

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