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Stong Wind Shakes Loose in Graduation

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Strong Wind, a speedy son of Tribal Rule ridden by Kevin Krigger, shook off 3-2 favored Law Dog entering the stretch and went on to score an easy, 4 ¼ length triumph in the featured $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred two-year-olds Wednesday.

Showing sharp speed from the break, Strong Wind dueled with Law Dog and opened up once straightened away in the stretch to score in 1:04.14 for the 5 ½ furlongs.

Just Call Me Al, the 2-1 second choice, salvaged second money, nosing out Lovmeister, with Weewinnin another nose away in fourth place. Law Dog, who stumbled leaving the gate, was eased by jockey Garrett Gomez  after fading badly in the stretch.

Strong Wind, the 3-1 third choice in the betting, returned $8, $3.60 and $2.60. Just Call Me Al paid $2.80 and $2.20, while Lovmeister returned $2.80 to show.

The winner, owned by Roncelli Family Trust and Tomasic and trained by Steve Knapp, earned $57,000 with his second victory in five starts to increase his bankroll to $105,360.

With no perfect tickets in Wednesday’s Pick Six, Thursday’s eight-race program will feature a carryover of $76,492. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.

Wednesday’s attendance was 11,191.

 

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