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Sweet Seventeen stretches out in Busanda

Sweet Seventeen, who has never finished outside the exacta in three outings, will make her first start beyond seven furlongs when she competes at Aqueduct Racetrack on Saturday in the $100,000 Busanda for 3-year-old fillies at one mile, 70 yards.


After debuting a 1 ½-length winner on dirt at Laurel Park in September, Sweet Seventeen made two starts on Polytrack, edging clear to a 3 ½-length victory in a Keeneland allowance in October and racing evenly in the stretch to finish second, beaten 4 ¾ lengths by Tu Endie Wei, in the Glorious Song at Woodbine on November 13.


Even though Sweet Seventeen is by the 2007 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun and out of Play Ballado, who was a stakes winner and Grade 1 placed around two turns, trainer Graham Motion has waited patiently for the right time to try his filly over a route of ground.


“To be honest, she has been pretty sharp in her races and I’ve been a little reluctant to stretch her out, but she has been settling down and this seems good a spot to [try a route race],” said Motion, who trains Sweet Seventeen for Debby Oxley. “And I’d be surprised if she didn’t handle [the additional ground].”


Motion added that he has been pleased with Sweet Seventeen’s recent breezes on dirt.


“She made her first start on dirt and she has been working on dirt at Fair Hill,” said Motion. “Down the road she might end up being a turf or a synthetic horse, but I’m not too concerned about [racing her on dirt].”


Ramon Dominguez will ride Sweet Seventeen, the 8-5 favorite, from the rail.


Bourbonstreetgirl enters the Busanda off a third in the Grade 2 Demoiselle, a 1 1/8-mile race which was contested on the Aqueduct main track November 26. In the Demoiselle, the Gary Contessa trainee made a five-wide rally after being pushed outside by the eventual winner, Disposablepleasure, on the far turn. Bourbonstreetgirl, who was making her first start on dirt in the Demoiselle, finished 2 ¾ lengths behind Disposablepleasure.


In four starts on turf, Bourbonstreetgirl was 1-0-2, including a third via disqualification in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park in October.


David Cohen has the assignment aboard Bourbonstreetgirl, who will carry the colors of Bourbon Lane Stable from post position 3 at 7-2 on the morning line.


Darley Stable’s Captivating Lass will attempt to move forward off her effort in the Demoiselle, having finished seventh after checking on the far turn. She has made one other start, a two-length maiden victory at Parx Racing on October 1.


“She broke her maiden at a mile and 70 yards at Parx but then didn’t perform as well as we expected in the Demoiselle,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. She had to check pretty hard at the three-eighths pole, but it was still a disappointing effort. She will be first time Lasix. She worked well for us this morning. She’s a talented filly and we hope she fits in there Saturday. Like Alpha [entered in Saturday’s Count Fleet], she’ll have to step up off her last race.”


Captivating Lass, 2-1 on the morning line, will leave from post 5 with Mike Luzzi in the stirrups.


Completing the field are The Winged Venus, Lady Clara, Almost a Valentine, and Terralba.


The field for the $100,000 Busanda:








Sweet Seventeen (KY)

R A Dominguez


H G Motion



The Winged Venus (KY)

C Montalvo


W Badgett, Jr.



Bourbonstreetgirl (KY)

D Cohen


G C Contessa



Lady Clara (KY)

C H Velasquez


M J Trombetta



Captivating Lass (KY)

M J Luzzi


K P McLaughlin



Almost a Valentine (FL)

E Peltroche


O L Figgins, III



Terralba (KY)

J Alvarado


M Shuman





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