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Dance to Bristol Retirement Ceremony Saturday

Dance To Bristol 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Saturday’s nine-race card will feature four $100,000 stakes races and a special retirement ceremony for Bowie-based Dance to Bristol, who completed her career with a sixth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) earlier this month.

Owned by Taneytown resident Susan Wantz and trained by Ollie Figgins III, Dance to Bristol enjoyed a stellar 4-year-old campaign with victories in seven of her 10 starts this year, including three graded stakes.

The daughter of Speightstown and jockey Xavier Perez reeled off seven straight victories from February through August, including a win in the Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness weekend and three graded races in New York: Bed Of Roses (G3), Honorable Miss (G2) and Ballerina (G1).

“She took me on the journey of a lifetime,” Figgins said this afternoon. “She took me to places where I never ran before and was very successful. She got me to where I could be seen on the big stage and I think that would be a big boost for my career.” 

Wantz, Figgins and Perez will be on-hand to say goodbye to Dance to Bristol, who will leave two days later for Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, KY to start a new career as a broodmare.

“It is going to be sad,” Perez told Maryland Jockey Club racing analyst Gabby Gaudet yesterday in her weekly video blog . “She gave me so much. I fell in love with her but I know she is going to be fine. Every year I want to pick a day or two to go see her and her babies. I am never going to forget her.”

“It is going to be a bittersweet day,” added Figgins. “You hate to see a horse like that walk out of your barn but at the same time it is good to see one walk out of your barn to retire for a good reason.”

Dance To Bristol finished her career with 10 wins and eight second place finishes in 20 career starts for earnings of $980,880. She raced nine times in Maryland with five victories and four runner-up finishes. She broke her maiden on Oct. 29, 2011 at Laurel Park and also captured the 2012 Marshua Stakes at the central Maryland track.

Saturday’s stakes races will be the Jennings Handicap (race 4), the Smart Halo Stakes (race 6), the Dave’s Friend Stakes (race 7) and the James Lewis Stakes (race 8).

The festivities also include the second annual Brew & Bourbon Classic from noon to 5 p.m. Fans can enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of beer tasting and bourbon sipping for just $35. Over 60 different beers and bourbons will be poured trackside as the races unfold. For tickets visit brewandbourbonclassic.com and choose the November 16 date.

NESS MOVES CLOSER TO 2,000-WIN MILESTONE

Trainer Jamie Ness moved closer to 2,000 career victories after saddling Drunken Love to victory in Wednesday’s third race. The 39-year-old, who ranks fourth nationally with 209 winners, is three wins shy of the milestone.

Ness is scheduled to run two horses at Laurel Park Thursday, has runners in five races Friday afternoon and entered three for Saturday’s card, including Guam Typhoon in the Dave’s Friend Stakes.

He currently ranks second in the Laurel fall standings with 17 victories, one fewer than Hugh McMahon.

Last year, he led all North American conditioners with 395 victories, including 83 at Laurel and Pimlico, after finishing as the runner-up in 2010 and 2011.

 

 

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