Tuesday, August 07, 2012
NEW HALL OF FAMERS ATTFIELD, VELAZQUEZ TEAM UP TO WIN RICHMOR AVIATION WAYA
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Roger Attfield and jockey John Velazquez, who will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame later this week, teamed up with Kissable on Monday at Saratoga Race Course to win the $100,000 Richmor Aviation Waya.
Making her United States debut, the 4-year-old filly ran well off the rail towards the rear as Bizzy Caroline led the field of nine fillies and mares through an opening half-mile in 51.97 seconds, with the mile going in 1:43.22. Hitting her best stride once in the stretch, Kissable kicked into high gear to take the lead inside the eighth pole and galloped under the wire four lengths in front of favored Starformer.
“What a great guy and a great person to be around, and what a great trainer as well!” said Velazquez of Attfield, who has saddled the winners of more than 1,700 races, including 370 stakes. “It’s well-deserved, and I’m glad to be part of it. He’s been great to me for a long time now. He’s given me a lot of good chances on his horses.”
Sent off at 4-1, Kissable returned $10.40 for a $2 win bet and earned $60,000 for her owners, Three Chimneys Racing and Trevor Harris. The Danehill Dancer filly had one victory and was Group 1-placed in nine starts in her native Ireland, and in her first North American appearance finished fifth in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly on July 8 at Attfield’s home track, Woodbine.
“She had been training really, really well into it,” said Attfield by telephone from London, where he is attending the Olympics. “The race in Canada was a new experience for her. After that she started to get aggressive in her training. She’s gotten a lot sharper.”
Attfield and Velazquez, along with the rest of the 2012 Hall of Fame Class, will be officially inducted on Friday in a ceremony at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion on East Avenue.
“It’s very special,” said Attfield on winning the Waya with Velazquez, a two-time Eclipse award winning jockey who has won 22 riding titles on the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) circuit. “I’m glad to see him come back from his injury [broken collarbone] and doing well, and I’m looking forward to seeing him on Friday.”
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