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Winter Memories Glides Away in Sands Point

Winter Memories breaks maiden at Saratoga (9-3-10).
Winter Memories lived up to her role as the 3-5 favorite Monday afternoon at Belmont Park, sweeping wide on the turn and rolling to an easy three-length victory over Celestial Kitten in the 17th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Sands Point.


Ridden by Jose Lezcano, Winter Memories eagerly went after Arch Support as she and Mystical Star led the field of six 3-year-old fillies through a dawdling opening quarter in 26.11. Racing in third as the half-mile went in 51.41, Winter Memories began moving up on the far turn and spurted clear by three lengths when given her cue once into the stretch. Hand-ridden to the wire, the roan daughter of El Prado completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.61 over the firm inner turf course.


“She just galloped over there,” said Lezcano. “I had to go very close to the pace, but when I asked her, she gave me the same kick she always give me and she picked it up very quick. She usually sits back and makes a run, but today there was no pace in the race, so I had to do what I had to do. This is the kind of filly you can do whatever you want with, you can keep her close or you can take her back. Today, with six horses and no pace, I had to put her in the race.”


The victory was the second in as many starts this year for Winter Memories, who has won four of her five career starts. The filly, who opened her sophomore campaign by winning the Grade 3 Appalachian, took the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park last October following her maiden win and ended the year with a second-place finish to More Than Real in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.


“Our main goal is the Queen Elizabeth II [at Keeneland in October]; we’ll figure out the best way to get her there and look at the Lake George [Grade 2, July 27] and Lake Placid [Grade 2, August 21] in Saratoga,” said Jimmy Toner, who trains Winter Memories for her breeders, the Phillips Racing Partnership.


The victory, worth $90,000, extended the filly’s earnings to $450,600. She returned $3.20 for a $2 win bet to her backers in the Memorial Day crowd of 9,144.


Parting Words finished third, followed by Naples Bay, Mystical Star, and Arch Support. Life’s Measure was scratched.





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