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Jones Happy With Mark Valeski, Smitten

Mark Valeski (no. 5), ridden by Rosie Napravnik and trained by J. Larry Jones, wins the 58th running of the grade 2 Peter Pan Stakes for three year olds on May 12, 2012 at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)

Brereton Jones’s Mark Valeski finished second in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisiana Handicap, and Fox Hill Farms’ Smitten ran third in Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes.

 

“In spite of getting beat like that, we were happy,” said the always optimistic trainer Larry Jones on Sunday morning. “Mark Valeski showed me he’s still at the top of his game, even after all that time off. He was pretty tired after the race, and he drank a lot of water, but he showed up to run yesterday, and that’s what I wanted to see.

 

“The filly (Smitten) showed me she can run in that kind of company as well,” said Jones. “She showed me she belongs. Two months ago, she would have got beat 12 or 15 lengths by those same horses, but she’s starting to figure this game out, although as far back as she was early, I was beginning to think she hadn’t learned a thing. However, for us to run as well as we did in both races shows me that things are starting to come around for us. I’m getting excited about the whole season down here. I think we’re going to end up having a lot of fun in the races they both have coming up for them.”

INFRATTINI OPENS DOOR NUMBER FOUR FOR MCGEE

 

Z Thoroughbreds’ Infrattini’s win in Fair Grounds’ $100,000 Louisiana Handicap Saturday was his fourth straight, so what’s next?

 

“We’re going to consider the (Grade III) Mineshaft (Handicap Feb. 23),” said trainer Paul McGee on Sunday morning, “but right now my inclination is to skip that one and wait to come back in the (Grade II) New Orleans Handicap (March 30). However, I’ll be getting with the owners before we decide anything for sure. That was a big win for us yesterday, and the horse came back fine and is doing fine this morning.”

 

GAL ABOUT TOWN LOOKS READY TO DANCE AGAIN 

 

Iroquois Racing Club’s Gal About Town ran a big race in Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, but like she did in Churchill’s Grade II Golden Rod last Nov. 24, she finished second beaten less than a length.

 

“She’s kind of run that same race the last few times now,” said trainer Bret Calhoun on Sunday morning. “Naturally, I’m disappointed she didn’t win, but she ran well enough. 

 

“I really needed a little more pace in there yesterday,” said Calhoun. “If she gets a little more pace, I think she’ll run a better race. However, she came back good, so I guess we’ll just have to hope for a little more pace next time.”

 

DALLAS STEWART SHINES TWICE ON ROAD TO THE DERBY KICKOFF DAY PROGRAM 

 

Trainer Dallas Stewart’s colt Golden Soul, owned by Charles Fipke, finished second in Saturday’s Grade III Lecomte Stakes, and his filly Irish Lute, owned by Donarra Thoroughbreds, ran fourth in Saturday’s $125,000 Silverbulletday Stakes, but the trainer and his jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. were both pleased with the respective efforts of the sophomores.

 

“Brian thought the filly ran real well, and that the colt gave a good effort as well,” Stewart said Sunday morning. “The pace in the Lecomte was pretty slow, but (Golden Soul) was finishing good. As the distances get longer, then I think he’ll do better.

 

“But both horses came back good,” Stewart added quickly. “Thank God for that.”

 

 


 


 

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