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Hawthorne Racecourse (3/6/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

Florida Weekend No Vacation for Mitchell; Thornton Nearing Hawthorne Return

Monday morning trainer Tony Mitchell remained perplexed by the poor performance put in by 2005 Illinois Horse of the Year Original Spin, who finished last in Sunday's Grade II Forward Gal Stakes at Gulfstream in a race that marked her 3-year-old debut.

"We've scoped her since the race and she's clean as a whistle," Mitchell said to Gulfstream Park notes writer Graham Ross. "She ate up every single oat this morning. I don't know what happened yesterday. I can't say she didn't like the track because she worked great over it last week."

"Rene (jockey Douglas) had her in perfect position going down the backstretch," Mitchell continued. "She was running well, but when he asked her for a little bit, she didn't respond very well, and when he asked her again she didn't give him anything. Now I have to find some answers. We're very disappointed."

On Saturday, Mitchell lost Julie's Prize, the most accomplished older female in his barn, to a heart attack in the aftermath of her fifth place run in the Wayward Lass Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, a race that marked her first start in 11 months.

An Illinois champion filly as a juvenile and a sophomore, the 6-year-old daughter of El Prado earned in excess of $441,000 in her career. She won five Illinois stakes, and finished third in the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes over the Arlington grass in 2003.

According to the Gulfstream notes, the British-born Mitchell, who celebrated his 47th birthday last Friday, will spend a few days in Key Largo with his family before saddling one more starter Friday in Tampa. He will the return to his winter headquarters in Aiken, S.C.

"Pisces people may be dreamers," Mitchell told Ross in a dark-humored reference to his star-crossed birthday weekend, "but this weekend was a nightmare."

Special thanks to Gulfstream Park and notes writer Graham Ross for providing the information found in this release.

Jockey Tim Thornton, out since Friday following a bout with dehydration, was taken off his mounts on Monday. According to his agent Marcus Guidry, Thornton plans to work a couple of horses Tuesday morning, and if all goes well, he'll honor his afternoon engagements.




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