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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE
|Hawthorne Racecourse (3/10/06)
Contact: DAK Productions
Fifteen Rounds Provides Knockout Punch
Ken Meeker and Carson Springs Farm’s Fifteen Rounds, who proved himself to be one of the top sprinters in the Midwest in 2005, returned to the races in stylish fashion on Friday at Hawthorne.
Sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the field of five optional claiming/allowance runners, the 6-year-old son of Fit to Fight spied the speed from the rail, pushed through the inside on the turn for home, and cruised to a handy, 1 3/4 lengths win over the hard hitting Illinois-bred Silver Bid in sharp final time of 1:09.59 for six furlongs over a fast track. Eyeforglory finished third.
“Christine (trainer Janks) just told me to break, sit, and think about what I was going to do this weekend,” jockey Chris Emigh said with the utmost confidence after the race. “I knew I was on the best horse. My only job was to keep him between the fences.”
In 2005, Fifteen Rounds won five of eight starts, including the $150,000 Arlington Breeders’ Cup Sprint in August. The connections entertained thoughts of testing Breeders’ Cup waters, but following a fifth place run in the Grade III Phoenix at Keeneland on Oct. 8, they decided to give him some time off instead.
“He lounged around and wrestled with his buddies in Florida all winter,” Janks said. “When it was time to get back to work, he was ready.”
With limited opportunities for sprinters in the Chicagoland area, Janks will have to shop around for a suitable spot for her talented dasher.
“He’s never handled the out of town experience very well, but he has shown gradual signs of maturity,” Janks explained. “We don’t have a lot of choices. He’s six (years old) now, but with the way we manage our horses, that isn’t old at all. We get out of them what they can do comfortably and without any pressure.”
In other Janks stable news:
· 2005 Illinois 3-year-old champ High Expectations, and top older horse Nkosi Reigns were both on a van headed to Chicago on Friday afternoon.
“Nkosi (pronounced En – koz – ee) Reigns is ready to run,” Janks said. “Our goal with him is the NJC ($250,000 Grade III National Jockey Club Handicap on April 22). High Expectations is a little further behind. We hope to get a race in him before Illinois Champions Day, if not he’ll train up to it (Milwaukee Ave. Handicap on April 29) and will be just fine.”
· 2005 Illinois 3-year-old filly champ Pretty Jenny breezed 1:14 4/5 over a fast main track at Hawthorne on Friday in preparation for her 2006 debut.
“She came out of it a little tired, which is to be expected because she’s just now getting fit,” Janks said of the work. “She’s a sprinter and a two-turn race is really out of the question for her. Seven furlongs or a one-turn mile at Arlington is about her limit. She really showed that she likes the turf last year (five furlong open allowance win at Arlington on September 16 in her final start of the season), and I’m kind of hoping that she can become the second coming of Nicole’s Dream (Dare to Dream Stable’s multiple stakes winning grassy sprint specialist). The short-term goal is to have her ready for Illinois Day (Governor’s Lady over six furlongs).”
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