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Driven By Success Tops Morrissey

SaratogaLogo

Driven by Success, second in last year’s John Morrissey, will attempt to go one better when he goes postward at Saratoga Race Course on Thursday in the 2010 edition of the 6 ½-furlong, $70,000 event for New York-breds.

 

A 5-year-old gelded son of Precise End who finished third in last year’s Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, Driven by Success opened his 2010 campaign by finishing fifth in the Paumonok and third in the Grade 3 Toboggan over Aqueduct’s inner track. Last of six in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap on the Big A’s main track in April and fourth in a Belmont Park allowance in May, he rounded into form with a six-length victory in an optional claimer at Belmont May 31 and a 3 ¼-length score in an optional claimer for statebreds at that venue July 1.

 

The Repole Stable representative usually races on or near the lead, but was forced to show a new dimension in his May 31 triumph after lunging at the break.

 

“Historically his first step out of the gate hasn’t been terrific,” said trainer Todd Pletcher. “He wasn’t away from the gate well, but he settled and ran better. We’ve been working on trying to get him to settle at the gate.”

 

John Velazquez, who has ridden Driven by Success in his last three starts, will guide the 3-5 morning-line favorite in the Morrissey. The duo will break from post position 2.

 

Law Enforcement, winner of last year’s Morrissey, finished fifth behind Driven by Success in the July 1 allowance, his second start of 2010. Also coming out of that race is Legal Consent, who contested the pace and tired to finish third. Law Enforcement was tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line and drew post position 4, while Legal Consent drew the rail as the 6-1 third choice.

 

Endless Circle, who took the Aspirant Stakes at Finger Lakes as a 2-year-old, returns to stakes competition for the first time since he finishing second in the 2008 Morrissey. Claimed for $14,000 out of a victory at Aqueduct in April, the 6-year-old rattled off a pair of victories in optional claimers at Belmont in his first two starts for his new connections, then was runner-up last time out in a July 26 optional claimer at the Spa after being blocked in upper stretch.


“We liked the way he was running and he won a stakes as a 2-year-old, so he’s always had class,” said his trainer, Rudy Rodriguez. “He ran a big race last time.”

 

Edgar Prado retains the mount aboard Endless Circle, who will break from position 6 as the 5-1 second choice.

 

Another claimbox acquisition entered in the Morrissey is Mor Chances, who was haltered for $50,000 last time out by Rick Dutrow, Jr. The five-time stakes winner has prevailed in 11 of his 34 career starts and enters Thursday’s race off consecutive victories in seven-furlong turf sprints at Belmont. Rajiv Maragh will ride the 8-1 shot from post 5.

 

Naughty New Yorker completes the field.

 

The field for the $70,000 John Morrissey:

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

Legal Consent (NY)

J Lezcano

122

C F Martin

6-1

2

Driven by Success (NY)

J R Velazquez

122

T A Pletcher

3-5

3

Naughty New Yorker (NY)

R A Dominguez

120

P J Kelly

15-1

4

Law Enforcement (NY)

J Castellano

122

M A Hennig

8-1

5

Mor Chances (NY)

R Maragh

122

G C Contessa

10-1

6

Endless Circle (NY)

E S Prado

122

R R Rodriguez

5-1

 

 

 

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