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Suntracer Challenges Elders at Fair Grounds

Fair Grounds Race Course
Photo: CDI
Sophomore star Suntracer, who races in the green and yellow silks of Team Block, challenges nine others – mostly his elders – in Monday’s Fair Grounds feature, the fifth renewal of the $75,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap, scheduled for about 1 1/16 miles over the Stall-Wilson turf course.

 

Named in honor of the late local newspaper, television and radio personality, the “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial is the headline event on the only Monday racing program of the season at Fair Grounds, which will be re-opening that day following a brief holiday hiatus that began following Friday’s races.

 

Suntracer, who won Fair Grounds’ $75,000 Woodchopper Stakes in his last start Nov. 25, finished second to All In Stable’s Willcox Inn in Chicago’s Grade III Hawthorne Derby at previous asking Oct. 15 and was runner-up to that same rival in the Grade II American Derby and Arlington Classic earlier last summer at Arlington Park.

 

Suntracer, trained by Neil Pessin, will be ridden by Fair Grounds’ defending jockey champion Rosie Napravnik, who was aboard for the Woodchopper win. The son of Kitten’s Joy has been installed as the lukewarm 7-2 choice in the Diliberto morning line.

 

Likely to provide strong competition for Suntracer is Cherrywood Stables II and Terry Biondo’s Princeville Condo, who won the Diliberto two years ago and seemed primed for an assault on Fair Grounds’ grass series for older horses before having to undergo throat surgery for a displaced palate.

 

Although presently ensconced in the barn of Greg Geier for the winter, Princeville Condo comes into the Diliberto off a half-length win in Hawthorne’s $64,000 Robert F. Caray Memorial Oct. 8, when he was under the tutelage of part-owner Michele Boyce. During his last two summer campaigns in Illinois, Princeville Condo has twice finished a close second in Arlington’s restricted $90,000 Black Tie Affair Handicap. Fair Grounds’ seven-time jockey champion Robby Albarado will be in the irons on the 4-1 second choice in the early line.

 

Princeville Condo will shoulder the top impost of 121 pounds in the Diliberto, while the 3-year-old Suntracer gets in with 116.

 

Completing Monday’s Diliberto field, with jockeys and weights assigned, is: William Butler’s Al Muhtasib, Victor Lebron, 114; John Wade’s Pedrolino, Florent Geroux, 114; Chester Miller and Patrick Dupuy’s Strike Impact, Miguel Mena, 119; Lael Stables’ Ready Set, Brian Hernandez Jr., 120; Andrews T & S Racing’s Mr. Vegas, James Graham, 114; Jay Em Ess Stable’s Worldly, Corey Lanerie, 114; Dwight Sprague’s Cactus Son, Shane Sellers, 111; and Charles Fletcher’s Baltimore Bob, Richard Eramia, 118.

 

 

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