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Breeders Cup 2015

Quen's Harbor Choice in Busanda

Queen’s Harbor will shoot for her second straight stakes victory Saturday when she faces six other 3-year-old fillies in the $65,000 Busanda at Aqueduct Racetrack.


A 26-1 upset winner of the East View for New York-breds on December 5 in her two-turn debut, the Mizzen Mast filly will be making her first start in open company in the one-mile, 70-yard Busanda for owner and trainer Rick Violette.


After breaking her maiden at Saratoga Race Course on August 3, Queen’s Harbor was third to Yawkey Way in the Ann Clare restricted overnight stakes on August 25 and second behind Saltamontes in the Friendly Beauty Stakes at Belmont on September 23, both at six furlongs, but then was no factor in either the seven-furlong Maid of the Mist or the one-mile Swirlaway.


“I think she was a victim of pace in those two races,” said Violette. “She wants to be in the fight, and at seven-eighths and a flat mile the pace can be pretty hot. Around two turns, it’s a different pace scenario, one which she seems to thrive on. She’s been doing wonderfully since her last start.”


Jose Valdivia, Jr. rides Queen’s Harbor, 7-2 on the morning line, from the rail.


Favored at 2-1 on the morning line off her maiden score is Dance Quietly, a winner going a mile and 70 yards at Monmouth Park on November 10. The A.P. Indy filly, seventh in her debut in a six-furlong race at Saratoga in August, next returned to finish second by a neck at Delaware Park at the Busanda distance in September to Joyful Victory, who went on to finish third in the Grade 1 Frizette.


“She has been training well since she arrived at Belmont late last fall,” said Jonathan Thomas, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, of Queen’s Harbor. “We are all looking forward to her start in stakes company.”


Bred in Virginia by the late Edward P. Evans, Dance Quietly will be ridden by Ramon Dominguez and leaves from post position 2.


Also coming into the Busanda off a maiden victory is the Michael Trombetta-trained Moonlit Malibu, who is stretching out off a three-quarter length win going 6 ½ furlongs at Parx Racing on December 5.  Cornelio Velasquez rides the Malibu Moon miss, the second choice on the morning line at 3-1, from post position 4.


Daring Reality has won two straight, having broken her maiden at the Busanda distance at Parx on November 11 and following that with a first-level, one-mile allowance win Penn National on December 17. Angel Arroyo rides the daughter of Include from post position 3.


Supplemented to the race are Lake Song, trained by two-time Busanda winner Gary Contessa, and Aba Dabbler, who comes in from the mid-Atlantic with a 2-1-1 mark from four starts in claiming company. Rounding out the field is another mid-Atlantic shipper, Bandola, who has a pair of seconds in her two most recent starts at Parx Racing.


The field for the $65,000 Busanda:








Queen's Harbor (NY)

J Valdivia, Jr.


R A Violette, Jr.



Dance Quietly (VA)

R A Dominguez


T A Pletcher



Daring Reality (KY)

A S Arroyo


C A Lynch



Moonlit Malibu (KY)

C H Velasquez


M J Trombetta



Bandola (FL)

E Castro


P Andrade



Lake Song (NY)

J Alvarado


G C Contessa



Aba Dabbler (FL)

D Cohen


T L Keefe








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