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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE

Hawthorne Racecourse (4/8/06)

Contact: DAK Productions
(708) 222-4540

A Sweet "Victorina" For Meafara Winner

STICKNEY, Ill. (April 8, 2006) --- Harry J. Aleo’s Victorina stalked the pace, took the lead in mid-stretch and drew off to win the $112,400 Meafara Stakes by 3 ¾ lengths over Grandelena. Northern California-based jockey Russell Baze, the leading active rider in terms of career scores, rode the Greg Gilchrist-trained filly who covered the six furlongs in 1:11.14.

“She had a good trip and clear sailing the whole way,” said Baze. “When I asked her to run, she just ran right to the front for me.”

The victory was the second straight stakes score for the daughter of Delaware Township and fourth in five trips to the post for the bay filly. A $160,000 purchase at the OBS April sale in 2005, she earned $67,440 for the Meafara tally to boost her career bankroll to $130,065. In her last start, she captured the $40,000 Ere Go Brach Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.

Earlier in the week, there was a bit of a question as to whether or not Victorina would even make the trip to Chicago after developing a cough at her Northern California homebase.

“She did have a cough in the middle of the week,” admitted Gilchrist. “It wasn’t too bad. We took care of it. I wasn’t as worried about the cold as I was about the airplane trip. She came through it just fine. If you’re gonna have a good one, you’ve got to be able to get on the airplane. We’ll enjoy this one and talk about what we’re going to do next in 48 hours.”

Dirty Rush set the pace in the race, getting the opening quarter mile in 22.36 seconds and the half in 46.36 before fading to third.

“She went great,” said Brice Blanc, who rode the runner-up. “She just got outrun a little late. She broke good and had a perfect trip. We were exactly where I wanted to be. The other filly just had a little more.”

“She got up on the bit a little early on,” said John McKee, the rider of Dirty Rush. “I tried to rate her but she was a little too on the bit. I think we just go outrun by a better horse today.”

Sent off as the 9-10 favorite, Victorina paid $3.80, $3 and $2.40. Grandelina returned $7.60 and $4. Dirty Rush paid $4.60.

All Quotes for the Meafara Stakes:

Russell Baze (rode the winner, Victorina): “I didn’t have to finish quite as frantically as we did the last time with this filly. She had a good trip and clear sailing the whole way. When I asked her to run, she just ran right to the front for me.”

Harry Aleo (owner of the winner Victorina): “We bought her at a Florida sale (OBS pril 2005) and the trainer (Greg Gilchrist) liked her very much and I abide by his sharp eye.”

Greg Gilchrist (trainer of the winner, Victorina): “She did have a cough in the middle of the week. It wasn’t too bad. We took care of it. I wasn’t as worried about the cold as I was about the airplane trip. She came through it just fine. If you’re gonna have a good one, you’ve got to be able to get on the airplane. We’ll enjoy this one and talk about what we’re going to do next in 48 hours.”

John McKee (rider of 3rd place finisher Dirty Rush): ”She got up on the bit a little early on. I tried to rate her but she was a little too on the bit. I think we just go outrun by a better horse today.”

Hugh Robertson (trainer, of 2nd place finisher Grandelena): “ Everything went according to plan. She ran a real nice race. She’s a nice filly. The owners would like to try her 5 furlongs on the turf next time at Churchill so I guess we’ll see.”

Brice Blanc, 2nd Grandelena, “She went great. She just got outrun a little late. She broke good and had a perfect trip. We were exactly where I wanted to be. The other filly just had a little more.”

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