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Winter Memories Makes Much Anticipated Return in Beaugay

10 03 2010: Winter Memories with Jose Lezcano up win the 31nd running of the Grade III Miss Grillo, for 2-year olds fillies on the turf at 1 1/16, Belmont Park, Elmont, NY. Trainer J.J. Toner. Owners Phillips Racing Partners
Winter Memories will attempt to win her fourth graded stakes at Belmont Park when she makes her 2012 debut in Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay.

 

The Beaugay, a 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares, is New York’s first graded turf stakes of the year and is the co-feature on a card that includes the Grade 3 Fort Marcy.

 

In her penultimate start of 2011, Winter Memories was trapped behind horses in midstretch of Belmont’s Grade 1 Garden City before making a furious rally to get up by a neck. It was the fifth graded stakes victory overall for Winter Memories, who previously at Belmont won the Grade 3 Ms. Grillo in October, 2010 and the Grade 2 Sands Point in May, 2011.

 

October’s Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland was Winter Memories’ long-term objective for 2011, but she failed to deliver her usual stretch run that day and finished fourth, beaten 5 ½ lengths.

 

“I’m not sure if she likes Keeneland, and I think she went over the top after the Garden City,” said trainer Jimmy Toner. “I think she left it all out there. There was nothing left. Unfortunately, it was the race we pointed for all year long, but she was just over the top.”

 

Freshened over the winter, Winter Memories will make her first start against older opponents in the Beaugay.

 

“She has developed and matured over the winter,” said Toner. “She’s filled out. We haven’t missed a beat, and we look forward to having her back. The ultimate goal this year would be the Breeders’ Cup, but it’s one step at a time. We’re looking forward to getting back in the groove.”

 

Winter Memories, out of dual Grade 1 winner Memories of Silver, forms a coupled entry with with La Cloche, her 5-year-old half-sister who is unraced since finishing fifth in Saratoga Race Course’s restricted De La Rose Stakes. The Phillips Racing Partnership tandem was made the 8-5 morning-line favorite.

 

Eddie Castro will ride Winter Memories from post position 2, with Mike Luzzi having the assignment aboard La Cloche from post 3.

 

Trainer Christophe Clement has also entered a pair in the Beaugay as he will send out Check the Label, who seeks her first win since taking the 2010 Garden City, and Federation, an up-and-comer who was second to Zagora in the Grade 3 Hillsborough at Tampa Bay Downs.

 

In her final two starts of 2011, Check the Label was 10th in the Grade 1 Beverly D. in August at Arlington Park and seventh in Presque Isle Downs’ H.B.P.A. Stakes in October for trainer H. Graham Motion. She was transferred to Clement in February.

 

“She’s training well,” noted Clement, who trains Check the Label for Lael Stables. “She’s a very good filly who lost her form last year. It’s time for her to come back. She might need the race, but she looks well.”

 

Check the Label, 8-1 on the morning line, will leave from post 8 with Rosie Napravnik at the helm.

 

Guy Roxburghe’s Federation, who won a single race in five starts in England, has blossomed since arriving in the United States. All three of her stateside starts have come at Tampa Bay Downs, where she blew out a pair of allowance fields before finishing second by 1 ¾ lengths to the 2011 Diana winner in the Hillsborough.

 

“She’s a lovely filly,” said Clement. “She didn’t win many races in England, so it was nice to give her some easy races before trying stakes company. Unfortunately, it’s not easy in New York. Winter Memories will be a formidable opponent. It’s very competitive. That’s New York. That’s what makes it fun when you’re good enough to win.”

 

Cornelio Velasquez will ride Federation, the 3-1 second choice, from the rail.

 

The Beaugay will be the first North American start for Principal Role, a Juddmonte Farms homebred who is now in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott. In England, Principal Role won three listed stakes and was Group 1 placed, all at 1 ¼ miles. In her most recent start, she was second by a neck in a 1 5/16-mile listed stakes in November at Doncaster.

 

“She’d probably be much better at nine or 10 furlongs, and this is only 1 1/16 miles,” said Mott. “I could have run her against the boys on Thursday [Milesius overnight stakes at 1 ¼ miles] if I wanted the distance, but I didn’t think about it. This will get her started.”

 

Principal Role, 5-1, will have the services of Junior Alvarado from post 5.

 

William J. Punk, Jr. and Philip DiLeo’s Hessonite, who capped her 3-year-old season with a triumph in the Justenuffhumor Ticonderoga on New York Showcase Day in October at Belmont, will attempt to win her first graded stakes in the Beaugay. In addition to her Ticonderoga score, the New York-bred won a pair of New York Stallion Stakes in 2011, earning her the title of New York-bred Champion Turf Female.

 

The daughter of Freud was originally set to make her 4-year-old bow in Aqueduct’s Videogenic overnight stakes on April 14, but was withdrawn with a foot abscess.

 

“[The Beaugay is] a little tougher than I’d like,” admitted trainer David Donk. “I’d like to run against New York-breds but you have to start somewhere. The Mount Vernon [for New York-bred fillies and mares] is 22 days after this race, and if I get a decent race in the Beaugay I’ll think about coming back in the Mount Vernon. As fit as I have her, there’s no reason to sit on her for three more weeks. We’ll take a shot in the Beaugay and try to get a piece of it.”

 

Hessonite, 6-1, drew post 3. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will ride.

 

The Beaugay field also includes Gitchee Goomie, who was second in last year’s Beaugay, and My Redbyrd and Check Point, the first- and third-place finishers in the Videogenic.

 

The field for the Grade 3, $150,000 Beaugay:

Program No.

PP

Horse

Jockey

Wgt

Trainer

Odds

1

2

Winter Memories (KY)

E Castro

119

J J Toner

8-5

1a

3

La Cloche (KY)

M J Luzzi

115

J J Toner

8-5

2

1

Federation (GB)

C H Velasquez

115

C Clement

3-1

3

4

Hessonite (NY)

I Ortiz, Jr.

117

D G Donk

6-1

4

5

Principal Role (KY)

J Alvarado

115

W I Mott

5-1

5

6

Gitchee Goomie (NY)

A Garcia

117

R A Violette, Jr.

12-1

6

7

My Redbyrd (KY)

E S Prado

115

J P Terranova, II

15-1

7

8

Check the Label (KY)

R Napravnik

115

C Clement

8-1

8

9

Check Point (KY)

D Cohen

115

A E Goldberg

20-1

 

 

 

 

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