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All Eyes On Winter Memories in Lake Placid

In her most recent appearance at Saratoga Race Course, Winter Memories unleashed an electrifying run through the stretch that resulted in her third straight victory of 2011 in the Grade 2 Lake George.

 

Sunday at the Spa, the rangy 3-year-old filly looks to make an even bigger splash as she heads a field of seven, plus three main track only entrants, in the Grade 2, $150,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid over 1 1/8 miles on the Mellon turf course. The Woodford Reserve Lake Placid will be run as race 4 on the 10-race card with a post time of 2:39 p.m.

 

Trained by Jimmy Toner, who also conditioned her mother, Memories of Silver, Winter Memories has scarcely put a foot wrong in amassing three graded stakes wins this year, including the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland Race Course on April 21 and the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park on May 30.

 

Yet it was her explosive run through the stretch in the Lake George that had everyone buzzing. So quickly did she accelerate that jockey Jose Lezcano had to literally steer her off the heels of the front-runners en route to a 4 ½-length victory, which earned her a career-best Beyer speed figure of 95.

 

“It was an incredible turn of foot, and I don’t think she had that last year,” said Toner of the gray filly, whose career defeat when she was second to More Than Real in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. “She’s able to give you that turn of foot as opposed to last year, where I think she was grinding away at them.”

 

With Lezcano back aboard the Phillips Racing Partnership color-bearer, Winter Memories drew post position 4 as the 4-5 favorite on the morning line in her first start past 1 1/16 miles.

 

“I don’t think the distance will make any difference to her,” said Toner. “I think the pace scenario is a question mark, because you like to have pace. It’s a different type of a race for her. If they go quick up front, she’ll be 10-12 lengths [back]. If they don’t go quick up front, she’ll be as close up as she was in the Sands Point. They ran ahead from :51 and she was basically up on the lead, so that’s the difference.”

 

One who could be up front early in the Lake Placid is Bellamy Star, who briefly got to the lead after running second for much of the Lake George, but could not hold off the winner in her first start for Todd Pletcher. Unraced at age 2, the Bellamy Road filly began her career with Gregory Griffith at Tampa Bay Downs, breaking her maiden on February 11 in her second start, then running twice at Belmont Park for trainer Carl Domino, finishing second in a first-level allowance and winning the Xtra Heat on June 5.

 

With John Velazquez aboard, Bellamy Star drew the rail at 8-1 on the morning line.

 

Hoping for a good pace scenario as well is Hungry Island, who comes into the Lake Placid off three straight wins for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey. With two seconds and two thirds in her first four races, the More Than Ready filly broke her maiden in her second start of 2011, coming from behind to win a 1 1/16-mile turf event at Belmont Park on May 6. She followed that with a last-to-first effort in a first-level allowance on June 8 and then came five wide from last of eight to win the Recording overnight stakes by three lengths on July 2, also at Belmont.

 

“She’s had a good month up here, and she’s had some time between her races,” said McGaughey. “Her last race was her best, and I think she’s going to improve off that. I think she’ll give a good account of herself; it’s just a question of whether she’s good enough.”

 

Alex Solis will ride Hungry Island, 5-1 on the morning line, from post position 6.

 

Kathmanblu, who last year ran second in the P.G. Johnson at Saratoga in her second lifetime start, comes into the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Regret on the turf at Churchill Downs. The Bluegrass Cat filly has divided her time among all three surfaces, winning the Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra on the dirt at the Fair Grounds, finishing third in the Grade 1 Ashland on the artificial surface at Keeneland Race Course, and winning the Sweet Chant at Gulfstream Park on the turf in January.

 

“It’s kind of a tough race to come back with Winter Memories in top form, but she has shown she’s really good on the grass, and we thought it was a good step forward,” said trainer Ken McPeek.

 

Javier Castellano will ride Kathmanblu, 8-1 on the morning line, from post position 5.

 

Trainer H. Graham Motion, who won the 2009 Lake Placid with Shared Account, returns with Augustin Stable’s Dynamic Holiday, beaten favorite in the Grade 3 Virginia Oaks in her most recent start. The Harlan’s Holiday filly went into the Oaks with a four-race win streak, including a victory in the Grade 2 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream Park on March 13, before encountering trouble in the Colonial Downs race and finishing fifth, beaten 2 ½ lengths.

 

Ramon Dominguez rides Dynamic Holiday, 6-1 on the morning line, from post position 7.

 

Rounding out the field are Trac N Jam and Wyomia, with Believe in A. P., Indian Tale, and Tiz the Argument supplemented as Main Track Only.

 

 

The field for the Grade 2, $150,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

Bellamy Star

J R Velazquez

118

T A Pletcher

 8-1

2

Trac N Jam

J V Bridgmohan

118

A M Hansen

20-1

3

Wyomia

F Lenclud

116

C L Garrison

10-1

4

Winter Memories

J Lezcano

122

J J Toner

 4-5

5

Kathmanblu

J Castellano

118

K G McPeek

 8-1

6

Hungry Island

A O Solis

118

C R McGaughey III

 5-1

7

Dynamic Holiday

R A Dominguez

120

H G Motion

 6-1

AE8a

Believe in A. P.  (MTO)

 

116

R E Dutrow, Jr.

 3-1

AE9

Indian Tale  (MTO)

 

116

R E Dutrow, Jr.

 5-1

AE10a

Tiz the Argument (MTO)

 

116

R E Dutrow, Jr.

 3-1

a-      coupled entry

 

 

 

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Older Comments about All Eyes On Winter Memories in Lake Placid...

Just look at her ... How can you help but to look?!?
I sincerely HOPE Indian Tale isn't entered on Sunday in the Lake Placid!! If she is, this will be her FITH START IN 15 DAYS!!! In her last start "She wanted no part of competition, however, and merely jogged ‘round the track in the fifth, finishing last." per a BH article. I would think she's hopelessly outclassed at a G2 level! To have her possibly "jog" around the track in a G2 would be, IMO, highly embarassing to Sataroga!!
Love watching WM run, especially as she comes barreling down the strech as I expect her to do. In a sea of bays, she is a beauty--like my avatar/namesake ; )

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