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HAWTHORNE RACE COURSE

Hawthorne Racecourse (12/13/03)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

Journey Fever Strong in Debutante

STICKNEY, IL -- Justin & Stefanie Carroll's Journey Fever pulled off a strong effort in victory in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante at Hawthorne on Saturday. The two-year-old filly earned her second career win for trainer Brian Williamson and jockey Iram Diego.

Setting the early fractions in the Debutante was Defuhr as she and jockey Chris Emigh broke sharply from the inside and carved out the quarter in :23 3/5 and the half in :47 1/5. Turning for home, Defuhr was still a length on the lead, covering the three-quarters of a mile in 1:11 4/5. Journey Fever had begun her move, powering into contention at the top of the stretch.

Mid-stretch, it had become a two horse affair as Defuhr was still on top with Journey Fever moving to her outside. In the end though, Journey Fever had powered on by for the length victory over Defuhr, covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.29. Zitlaly was 10 lengths behind those two while finishing third.

For the win, Journey Fever returned $7.00, $4.20, and $3.20. Defuhr came back $4.80 and $3.60. Zitlaly returned $7.60 to show.

Trainer Brian Williamson was very pleased, especially after Journey Fever nearly lost her last race, "I feel somewhat vindicated. I thought we had the last race won but that's history. I am trying to turn the page on that. It is time to move on. I am glad she won. She is a really nice horse. The owners couldn't make it today because one of the children was ill. I have to thank Mr. And Mrs. Carroll for letting me train the horse. It was a great win. I wish they could have been here to enjoy it. It was their first stakes win as owners.

"Actually, I think it was my first stakes win since I took over training," Williamson continued. (It was his first stakes win from 15 starts.) "I am going to talk to the owners because I would like to lay her off for the remainder of the year. She has had a tough campaign. I would like to bring her back in the spring in the Illinois stakes races. "

Jockey Iram Diego got a nice pick up ride, "I just want to thank the trainer and the owners and I am very happy. This was my first stakes win. I found out I had the mount about five days ago. I got to work her and the trainer told me I could have the mount."

Chris Emigh was also pleased with Defuhr's effort, "I was surprised they let me have the lead so easy so I took advantage of it. She ran real hard. Down the lane we still had a lead and I rode as long and hard as I could. The other filly was just a little better than us today. I was real proud of her. She ran her eyeballs out."

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