Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dogwood Winners

Dogwood Stable is having a great time at the Saratoga race meet this August. August in Saratoga is very much the big show: pretty much anyone on the East Coast with a promising race horse is either at Saratoga, or wishes they were. Horses that win at Saratoga as 2-year-olds are often on the road to greater things, things like the Breeders' Cup this fall and the Triple Crown races next spring.

That's why Dogwood Stable is excited to have three 2-year-old winners at Saratoga thus far. One is a bay filly by Lion Heart named Snap Happy. Snap Happy won a $50,000 Maiden Special Weights filly race on August 13. It was her first time out, and Dogwood connections are thrilled with the result and impressed with her determination and heart.

"She broke well, and ran gamely into the turn," says Jack Sadler, Dogwood's vice president. "Then she drifted out wide at the top of the stretch and lost ground. But she dug in and came home in front."

Calvin Borel, who rode Mine that Bird to victory in the Kentucky Derby and Rachel Alexandra in her stunning Preakness win, was the jockey. Snap Happy's success broke a summer-long, 19-race losing streak for the rider.

The next winner is a colt named Aikenite by Yes it's True who broke his maiden in his first start on August 9. Mary Jane Howell, Dogwood Stable's director of public relations, says that Cot Campbell, Dogwood's president, has been wanting to name a horse for his home town for a long time, and that this colt won the honor because of Cot's high hopes for him.

Aikenite, running in a 51/2 furlong maiden race, broke well, stalked the leader to the top of the stretch, and then powered home in front by 21/2 lengths. At the winner's circle, the jockey, John Velasquez, turned to Cot and said, "Boss, you've got a good one here."

Finally, on August 20, Golly Day, another 2-year-old sired by Lion Heart, won his first start, a mile and sixteenth contest on the turf. Golly Day made an explosive move coming down the stretch to finish first by over three lengths.

Aikenite, "a grand looking colt," is being pointed to the $300,000 Grade I Hopeful Stakes in early September, the most prestigious 2-year-old stakes race at the meet. Snap Happy is headed to the $300,000 Grade I Spinaway, the filly version of the Hopeful, also in September.

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