Friday, January 14, 2011


Lil Bit O’Fun a Lot to Beat in Dania Beach Sunday


Scott Heider’s Lil Bit O’Fun won two of three starts last year with a second in between, and will be among the favorites in a field of 10 3-year-olds drawn for Sunday’s $100,000 Dania Beach Stakes going one mile on turf at Gulfstream Park.

Jockey Jose Lezcano has been named to ride for trainer Tom Proctor.

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A chestnut colt by Langfuhr, Lil Bit O’Fun was impressive winning his debut by 3 ¾ lengths on turf at Arlington Park in late August, finished second to Proctor-trained stablemate Banned in an allowance over the Keeneland course in mid-October, and won an allowance on turf at Churchill Downs last out on Nov. 7 by 2 ½ lengths. Banned went on to finish fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2), beaten less than three lengths.

Two other contenders in the Dania Beach will be Steve Dwoskin’s Swift Warrior and Donald Dizney’s Racing Aptitude, third and fifth, respectively, in the Tropical Park Derby (G3) on New Year’s Day on turf at Calder Racer Course.

Jockey Paco Lopez gets a return call on Swift Warrior, who made a bold bid in the stretch but flattened out to third in the Tropical Park Derby as the 3-to-2 favorite. The chestnut colt by First Samurai was very impressive winning an allowance race over the Calder course in his previous start by 6 ¾ lengths.

Kent Desormeaux picks up the mount on Racing Aptitude for trainer Howie Tesher. The Florida homebred by Aptitude won a pair of races on turf at Calder last fall, including the Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf in November before his even try in the Tropical Park Derby when beaten 4 ½ lengths by the winner.

Trainer Jim DiVito sends out B. Jock Racing and partners’ Terminal One with a chance and Rajiv Maragh in the saddle. The Johar gelding is two-for-two, winning his debut at Arlington Park by three lengths going five-furlongs in early September and a one mile allowance at Tampa Bay Downs on Dec. 30, both races on turf.

Completing the field for the Dania Beach are Peter Deutsch’s Adirondack Summer, Alan Garcia; Get Away Farm Racing’s Master Dunker, Luis Saez; Centaur Farm’s Megalith, Javier Castellano; Live Oak Plantation’s Brilliant Speed, John Velazquez; Alpha Stables and partners’ Twinspired, Julien Leparoux; and Platinum Equestrian Corp.’s The Best Glacier, Eibar Coa.


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