Monday, September 01, 2008
MARLANG LEADS PARADE IN SARANAC
Following Marlang’s 1¾-length victory in Sunday’s 101st running of the Grade 3 Saranac, 80-year-old owner Gustav Shikendanz by-passed the winners’ circle and paraded the colt and jockey Richard Do Ramos up the track to the delight of Saratoga Race Course’s fans.
“That’s his tradition,” said winning trainer Deborah England. “He sort of does whatever he wants.”
Sort of like Marlang did in the mile and three-sixteenths Saranac.
Marlang, a son of Shikendanz’s 1996 Forego Handicap and Vosburgh winner Langfuhr, spurted from the gate to set fractions of 24.40, 48.44, 1:11.88 and 1:35.58 before winning in 1:53.10 on the firm Mellon Turf Course. It was the first Spa stakes win for both England and Dos Ramos.
Marlang has now won four of eight starts, and this was his first start away from his home base at Woodbine.
“I was a little concerned because he never shipped before and he heard the races over at the stakes barn,” England said. I was worried about him settling down. I think he will get better at shipping as he gets older. He has gotten better at everything.”
Marlang returned $7 to win, and was followed by Vacation, Nistle’s Crunch, favored Ready’s Echo, Thou Swell and Shive’s Success.
Mr Maccool and Schonpenhauer were scratched.
Winning trainer Deborah England of Marlang (No. 6; first Saratoga stakes win): “I was a little concerned because he never shipped before and he heard the races over at the stakes barn. I was worried about him settling down. I think he will get better at shipping as he gets older. He has gotten better at everything. I’m not sure what his next will be. This is the only horse I have with Mr. Shikendanz, who is 80 years old.”
Winning jockey Richard Dos Ramos (first Saratoga victory): “I thought I would make the lead fairly easily; he doesn’t have to be on the lead. I’ve had him off the pace before, and he settles. I turned to the head of the lane, and he just accelerated underneath me. I figured it would take a pretty good horse to catch him.”
NOTES: England has been training horses at Woodbine for two decades and, early in her successful career attended the Sovereign Awards (1990) when her trainee, Diva’s Debut, was named the champion older mare. England, one of Ontario’s first top women conditioners, has trained other crack horses such as Bold n’ Flashy, Cool Groom, Flashy Thunder and Flashy Anna. Her husband, Phil, is also a top trainer, having conditioned stars such as Afleet, One From Heaven and Thornfield. . . Winning owner Gustav Schikendanz is no stranger to success in New York. He campaigned Marlang’s sire, Langfuhr, whose accomplishments included victories in the 1996 Forego here at Saratoga Race Course and the 1996 Vosburgh at Belmont Park.
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