Trainer David Fawkes cautioned ahead of last Sunday’s $100,000
Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park that the race was “just a
starting point” for Alex and Joann Lieblong and partners’ 6-year-old
Duke of Mischief. After all, it was his start since finishing second in
the $1 million Charles Town Classic (G2) in West Virginia on April 14.
The winner of $1.9 million was never a factor and eased in the
stretch of the 1 1/16 miles test under jockey Joe Bravo, who has ridden
the chestnut son of Graeme Hall more often than not the last two years.
“He came back just fine. He wasn’t even tired,” said Fawkes of the
puzzling effort. “He either cheated on us or just threw in a clinker.
Regardless, we’ll give him another chance and try to find the right
spot. He won’t go to the Sunshine Millions (Classic) like we had hoped,
but maybe the right overnight race.”
Fawkes also sent out Larry Fugate’s 5-year-old gelding Cash Rules in
the Harlan’s Holiday in a bid for a fifth consecutive stakes victory.
The gelding finished an even third behind Csaba and Delegation. Fawkes
did confirm the gelding to start next in the $400,000 Florida Sunshine
Millions Classic on Sat., Jan. 19.
Fawkes has a pair of promising soon to be 3-year-olds nominated for
stakes races here on New Year’s Day –Fawkes Racing and Dick Wilson’s
gelding Capital City for the $100,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes and Arindel
Farm’s filly Vitameta for the $100,000 Old Hat Stakes (G3).
Capital City finished third in the Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay
Downs last out on Dec. 1 and Vitameta was a game second by a half-length
in the Sandpiper Stakes there the same afternoon.
“They are both going back to Tampa for their next starts. I tried
Vitameta against Kauai Katie once before at Saratoga and that was
enough,” said Fawkes, referring to the fact that trainer Todd Pletcher
has confirmed Stonestreet Stable's high-class filly to run as the
likely odds-on choice in the Old Hat.
In Vitamenta’s second career start after a winning career debut at
Calder she met Kauai Katie in Saratoga’s Adirondack Stakes (G2) on Aug.
12 with Kauai Katie winning rather easily as Vitameta tired to last of
five after acting up in the gate and chasing the winner in second to the