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Sands Point All About Winter Memories

Winter Memories breaks maiden at Saratoga (9-3-10).

Multiple graded-stakes winner Winter Memories, fresh off a rousing victory in her 3-year-old debut, heads a field of seven fillies entered in Monday’s Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point, the co-feature on Belmont Park’s Memorial Day card.

 

The Sands Point, a 1 1/16-mile turf race, shares the spotlight with the Grade 1, $500,000 Met Mile and will be run as race 9 on the 11-race holiday card.

 

With her only loss a second to More Than Real in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last November, Winter Memories kicked off her 2011 season by rallying from fifth to edge a game Dos Lunas by a neck in the Grade 3, one-mile Appalachian at Keeneland on April 21.

 

“You’re always anxious the first time coming off a layoff,” said Jimmy Toner, who trains the strapping roan filly for the Phillips Racing Partnership. “I watched her down the backside, and when it came time to make her move, she did. But the fact is, the horse that was on the lead that day was pretty good; she didn’t come back [to Winter Memories] at all. My filly made one run, and it looked like she was going to get there, but she had to make another run to get by Dos Lunas. It shows the quality and determination she has.”

 

A 5 ¼-length winner of last year’s Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park, which earned her the favorite’s role in the Breeders’ Cup, Winter Memories spent the winter in Florida before scoring her third victory in four starts in the Appalachian.

 

“It might have been a little short for her, but she pulled it off,” said Toner, who trained Winter Memories’ dam, the multiple Grade 1-winning Memories of Silver. “You always worry about the transition from age 2 to age 3, but I think her time at Palm Meadows over the winter was good for her.”

 

Regular rider Jose Lezcano is back aboard Winter Memories, the 3-5 morning-line favorite from post position 6.

 

Parting Words makes her first Belmont Park appearance in the Sands Point for trainer Barclay Tagg, whose Bit of Whimsy dead-heated with Rutherienne in the 2007 Sands Point. Fourth in her debut at Saratoga Race Course, Parting Words broke her maiden at Aqueduct on November 14 and then kicked off her 2011 campaign with a last-to-first allowance win going a mile at Gulfstream Park.

 

Seventh after clipping heels in the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride at Gulfstream, the Artie Schiller filly rallied from 10th to finish third, beaten 2 ¾ lengths in the Appalachian.

 

Ramon Dominguez, who was aboard for her maiden win, will ride the 8-1 morning-line choice from post position 5.

 

Trainer Christophe Clement, who trained Rutherienne in the 2007 Sands Point, has a pair entered in Mystical Star, the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride runner-up who subsequently took an allowance at Keeneland, and Naples Bay, who will be making her stakes debut after a pair of victories at Gulfstream Park.

 

John Velazquez will ride Mystical Star, 4-1 on the morning line from post position 2, while Rajiv Maragh is on Naples Bay, 5-1 on the morning line from post position 3.

 

Rounding out the field are Celestial Kitten, a recent maiden winner who has been no worse than third in five starts, and Arch Support, the Miss Grillo runner-up who most recently was eighth behind Naples Bay in an optional claimer at Gulfstream on March 26.

 

Life’s Measure was entered main track only.

 

The field for the Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point:

 

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

Arch Support (KY)

E S Prado

117

G C Contessa

30-1

2

Mystical Star (KY)

J R Velazquez

117

C Clement

 4-1

3

Naples Bay (KY)

R Maragh

117

C Clement

 5-1

4

Celestial Kitten (KY)

J Castellano

117

C C Brown

12-1

5

Parting Words (KY)

R A Dominguez

117

B Tagg

 8-1

6

Winter Memories (KY)

J Lezcano

123

J J Toner

 3-5

7

Life's Measure (NY) (MTO)

R Curatolo

117

C F Martin

 5-1

 

 

 

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Older Comments about Sands Point All About Winter Memories...

That was impressive.
This is one serious filly. It's refreshing to see a strong and legit G1 performance from a horse. She's the nuts right now.
Mark my words - turf champ this year.

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