Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Adriano tops Kent Stakes Field at Delaware Park
Donald Adam's Adriano tops a strong field of three-year-olds running in the $500,000 Grade III Kent Stakes (includes $100,000 Breeders' Cup Fund) at Delaware Park on Saturday, August 30.
Willmott Stable's Wesley and Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Ablaze With Spirit should give Adriano strong competition in the mile and one-eighth turf race, which has attracted a field of eleven.
The Kent Stakes field also includes one of the top local three-year olds, Augustin Stable's Deal Making. In his most recent start, the August 4 $150,000 Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga, he tasted defeat for the first time, finishing third after being blocked in the stretch. Deal Making has recorded three wins and a third from four starts with earnings of $106,200.
"He was definitely a little unlucky," Motion said. "Ramon (Dominguez) could not get him out until a little too late, but a couple of other horses in the race could the say the same thing. He still put forth a very good effort."
The son of Empire Maker started his racing career on April 24 with a neck score in 1 1/16 turf maiden at Atlantic City. The Pennsylvania-bred followed by notching a ¾-length win in a mile and a seventy yard turf allowance at Philadelphia Park on May 26. On July 1, he scored a 1 ¼-length triumph in the 1 1/16 mile $55,000 Stanton Stakes on Delaware Park turf.
"To be honest, he has been a huge surprise to me," Motion said. "Stepping up from winning the overnight stake at Delaware (Stanton) to running in a graded race was a huge jump and he responded to the challenge well."
A year has made a big difference in the maturity of Deal Making, Motion said. As a 2-year-old, Deal Making did not show much promise. But over the winter, he was gelded at the suggestion of Augustin Stable Owner George Strawbridge Jr. Since then, "He just seems to be a very honest and willing horse."
In the Kent Stakes, Deal Making will face off for a second time against Adriano and Wesley, who also ran in the Hall of Fame Stakes. Adriano, a striking chestnut who is the son of A.P. Indy, finished fourth in the Hall of Fame Stakes after he was blocked in the deep stretch. Previously, the Kentucky-bred thoroughbred who is trained by William Mott, ran fifth in the mile and three sixteenths $600,000 Grade III Colonial Turf Cup on June 21. He sports a career record of three wins and a second from ten starts with earnings of $413,680.
Wesley, the son of El Prado, is two-for-two since switching to the turf, including a win at the Hall of Fame Stakes. Previously, the Kentucky-bred trained by Mark Hennig won a mile and a sixteenth allowance at Belmont Park on June 28. He sports a career record of three wins and two seconds from seven starts with earnings of $181,630.
Ablaze With Spirit, the son of American Spirit, ran third in his last outing, finishing 4 ½-lengths back in the $250,000 Grade II American Derby on the Arlington Park turf course on July 12. Previously, the Texas-bred trained by Steven Asmussen ran third beaten 2-½-lengths in the mile and a sixteenth $100,000 USA Stakes on the Lone Star Park turf course on May 26. Ablaze With Spirit has two wins, two seconds and four thirds in 10 career starts with earnings of $216,520.
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