|Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook
Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310
Saturday, April 13, 2002
GRADED STAKES WINNERS ABOUND ON NJC 'CAP NOMS LIST
No fewer than seven graded stakes winners appear among the list of 19 horses nominated for next Saturday's (April 20) running of the Grade III $200,000 National Jockey Club Handicap. The nine-furlong fixture for older horses is the second of Sportsman's "Million Dollar Triple" of graded races. Included on the list, released earlier this week by racing secretary Allan Plever and stakes coordinator Chris Polzin, are defending champion Chicago Six, Hawthorne Gold Cup hero Duckhorn, Clark Handicap victor Ubiquity, New Orleans Handicap winner Parade Leader, Lexington Stakes victor Keats and Kentucky Derby runner-up Invisible Ink.
Richard E. Trebat's Chicago Six made last year's National Jockey Club his third stakes victory in less than a month after previously capturing the $100,000 Sportsman's Park Breeders' Cup and the $75,000 Milwaukee Avenue Handicap on consecutive Saturdays. This year, the 7-year-old Wild Again runner finished second in the Sportsman's BC and fifth in the Milwaukee Avenue six days apart.
Though winless since capturing last year's Grade II $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup in front-running fashion, Michael Tabor's Duckhorn has remained competitive in graded stakes company. The 5-year-old son of Not For Love finished third in the Grade II $400,000 Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park last summer and most recently ran third in the Grade III $100,000 Stymie Handicap at Aqueduct after making the pace for than a mile of the mile and an eighth race.
Trained by Jim Bond, Gary & Mary West's Ubiquity is unraced since finishing 13th in the Grade I $500,000 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park in February. Previously, the son of Colonial Affair posted an upset, neck victory in the Grade II $400,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last fall while under the tutelage of Bill Mott.
A 5-year-old son of Kingmambo, the Neil Howard-trained Parade Leader jumped up to run the biggest race of his life when he rallied from last to first to win the Grade II $500,000 New Orleans Handicap at the Fair Grounds.
Peachtree Stable's Invisible Ink turned some heads during his sophomore campaign when running third in the Grade I $1 million Florida Derby and finishing in the runner-up spot in the Grade I $1 million Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. In his lone start as a 4-year-old, the Todd Pletcher-trained son of Thunder Gulch finished second in a fourth-level allowance race at Gulfstream Park.
Winner of the Grade II Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland last year, Keats is one for three this year. Most recently, the Niall O'Callaghan trainee finished third to Parade Leader in the New Orleans Handicap after setting the pace for the first mile of the race.
One other graded stakes winner, William L. Clifton Jr.'s Pleasant Breeze, appears on the list. The son of Pleasant Tap took top honors in the Grade II Saratoga Breeders' Cup at the upstate New York racetrack in 2000.
Other stakes winners nominated to the National Jockey Club Handicap include: Boyce & Ruffolo's McMahon, who took the Sportsman's Park Breeders' Cup here last month; Barr H. Inman's Apalachee Special, who won that same race in 1999; Lakeside Farm LLC's Fight for Ally, a stakes victor at Hoosier Park last fall; Tommy & Bonny Hamilton's Neon Shadow, who captured the $60,000 Buckpasser Stakes at Arlington last August; and Richard F. Rudolph's San Pedro, an Illinois-bred son of Leo Castelli whose two stakes victories came against open rivals at the Fair Grounds.
Weights for the National Jockey Club Handicap will be announced Monday and entries for the race will be drawn on Tuesday.
Jockey Shane Laviolette was the only multiple victor on Friday, bagging a pair of wins on the card. The Cajun reinsman captured the second race with Maddy's Advantage and the fourth with Golden Prophecy. The double moved Laviolette into the top 10 in the standings with 11 tallies.
Assistant racing secretary Gary Duch points out that the last two winners of Fairmount Park's All Sold Out Stakes are scheduled to race in the same race Tuesday. Sharon R. Morgan's Tyke, the 2000 winner of the downstate event, will face Kammalot Stables' Tejano Honey, last year's heroine.
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