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Il Villano Strolls Home in Dave's Friend

Chuck Russo’s Il Villano had it all his own way in the six-furlong, $100,000 Dave’s Friend Stakes, the co-feature this afternoon at Laurel Park.


Sent out to spar for the lead under Kendrick Carmouche for trainer Susan Crowell, the 3-year-old quickly emerged with the lead and went on to beat five of his elders by three lengths in 1:11.20 over the sloppy going. Immortal Eyes nipped Wolfcamp to finish second.


“He seemed to like the slop,” Carmouche said. “He broke well and wanted to go.”


In his only other start at Laurel, Il Villano missed winning the Frank J. DeFrancis Memorial Dash on Oct. 27 by a nose to multiple stakes winner Action Andy. Earlier this year, he captured the Chick Lang Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.


“He is amazing,” Crowell said. “I thought we would be sitting off the pace like we did in the De Francis but he had other plans. Speed had not been holding today but it worked out well for us.”


Crowell indicated she could return to Laurel for the $200,000 General George Handicap (G3) on Feb. 18, 2013.


Il Villano paid $6.40 as the second betting choice. The son of Pollard’s Vision improves to 5-of-13 lifetime, with 11 in the money finishes, for earnings of $509,620.



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