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Story to Tell, La Grange Win at Los Alamitos

Story to Tell
Photo: Benoit Photo

A $200,000 purchase at the Barretts March sale, Story to Tell won for the second time in three starts, defeating favored Bad Read Sanchez in the $98,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos.

The Proctor was the first of two stakes for 2-year-olds on the final day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

Later in the afternoon, La Grange, second in her career debut June 8 at Arlington Park, surprised 1-5 favorite Heart of Paradise in the $100,000 TVG Cinderella.

Owned by Cecil Peacock and trained by Dan Hendricks – the same combination that had much success nearly a decade ago with multiple stakes winner Brother Derek – Story to Tell prevailed by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:10.28 for six furlongs.

A son of Bluegrass Cat and the Silver Deputy mare Haddie Be Good, Story to Tell was ridden by Joe Talamo and paid $5.20 and $2.40. He’s earned $118,600.

Favored on the strength of a 10-length maiden win in his June 20 debut for trainer Doug O’Neill and Reddam Racing LLC, Bad Read Sanchez returned $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering after the Proctor field was reduced to four with the scratches of the O’Neill pair of Wake Up Nick and Henry’s Holiday.

Reserved off the pace set by Peradventure, Story to Tell rallied on the outside, gained the lead early in the stretch and won with something in reserve.

Joe Steiner, the rider of Peradventure, who wound up fourth behind first-time starter Litigation Road, claimed foul against both Talamo and Mario Gutierrez, the rider of Bad Read Sanchez, for alleged interference, but it was dismissed by the stewards.

“He’s a nice colt and he looks even better when he runs,’’ said Hendricks. “It’s special to win this race. Willard Proctor gave me my first job at the track. I started galloping horses for him at Hollywood Park in 1976.

“He’s one of the two or three people around the track – along with my father (Lee) and (Hall of Fame trainer) Richard Mandella – who helped me have a career.

“(Story to Tell) is nominated to the (Grade I, $300,000) Del Mar Futurity (Sept. 3), but there’s also the (Grade II, $200,000) Best Pal (Stakes) in three weeks (Aug. 3), so we’ll debate that. We’ll see how he comes out of this race.’’

Litigation Road, who is also trained by O”Neill, finished 3 ½ lengths behind his stablemate and 5 ½ in front of Peradventure.

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Purchased for $17,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September sale, La Grange was reserved off the pace in the Cinderella, then overtook Heart of Paradise in midstretch and drew clear to win by 2 ¾ lengths as the 4-1 second choice.

Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux rode the winner for brother Keith, who trains the daughter of Curlin for Big Chief Racing LLC.

Out of the Awesome Again mare Jennie R., La Grange completed the six furlongs in 1:09.92 and paid $10.60, $2.80 and $2.10. She’s earned $67,200.

“We thought she put in a good effort first time out and we thought she might like the dirt better than the Polytrack,’’ said Julie Clark, Keith Desormeaux’s assistant trainer. “She proved us right.’’

The prohibitive favorite after an impressive debut win June 5 at Santa Anita, Heart of Paradise, who returned $2.10 and $2.10,  finished 3 ¾ lengths in front of Slew’s Charm ($2.40).

Abets Abet and Global Hart completed the order of finish. Shh She’s Ours, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, was scratched after flipping in the paddock.

 

 

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