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Hungry Island Stuns Winter Memories

Dismissed at 9-1 behind odds-on favorite Winter Memories, Hungry Island gobbled up ground as she rallied through the stretch and went on to a 2 ½-length victory in the Grade 2, $150,000 Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Sunday afternoon at Saratoga Race Course.

 

The victory was the fourth straight and first in a graded stakes for the 3-year-old daughter of More Than Ready, who was content to sit in last place behind Bellamy Star’s opening quarter-mile of 26.07 and a half in 51.91. Coming wide around the turn under jockey Alex Solis, Hungry Island surged into contention as the field of seven straightened for home and grabbed the lead from Kathmanblu with 110 yards to go.

 

Her time for the 1 1/8 miles over a yielding Mellon turf course was 1:53.77.

 

“I think this is a good filly,” said her winning trainer, Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey. “She’s done everything we wanted her to do this year. She trained well after she won at Belmont [July 2] and I really didn't want to rush her back in the [July 27] Lake George, so we waited and she took all that well. And like Alex just said, ‘everything I wanted her to do in the race, she did.’ And she still gave him the kick.”

 

Winter Memories was in tight quarters throughout, and after making a brief bid along the rail in the stretch wound up fourth, beaten just over three lengths. It was only the second loss in seven starts for the rangy gray filly, who was sent off at 2-5 following her spectacular 4 ½-length victory in the Grade 2 Lake George.

 

“She was trapped in the whole time,” said Jimmy Toner, trainer of the beaten favorite. “She doesn’t like to be between horses. There’s no excuses. When you win you win, when you lose you lose. It’s Saratoga – the Graveyard of Favorites.”

 

Kathmanblu was second, a half-length in front of Dynamic Holiday, with Trac N Jam, Wyomia, and Bellamy Star rounding out the order of finish behind Winter Memories.

 

Hungry Island is now 4-2-2 from eight starts, having broken her maiden at fifth asking on May 6, winning a first-level allowance a month later and then taking the Recording overnight stakes on July 2, all at Belmont Park.

 

She returned $21.40 for a $2 win bet and has now earned $216,980 for her owner and breeder, Emory Hamilton.

 

McGaughey said the next target for Hungry Island would likely be the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park on September 17.

 

 

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