Sunday, December 27, 2009

Princeville condo ascends FG’s Diliberto memorial throne

NEW ORLEANS (Saturday, December 26, 2009) – Jack Barr, Michele Boyce and Nate Ruffolo’s Princeville Condo came to Fair Grounds and trainer Greg Geier this winter so regular conditioner Boyce could see how well he’d perform on grass against stakes quality competition.

On Saturday, in the $60,000 “Buddy” Diliberto Memorial Handicap in New Orleans, the “Prince” ran like a king, scoring by a half-length to pay mutuels of $16.80, $8.40 and $6 while accomplishing the about 1 1/16-mile distance over the “good” Stall-Wilson turf course in 1:47.95, and also increasing his career earnings to $172,670 with his sixth victory in 10 lifetime starts.

“I rode him with absolute confidence,” said winning jockey Francisco Torres. “When I rode him in that race the other day (Nov. 24) at Churchill, he got boxed in and steadied, but still was able to win it. I tried to ride a smart race today, and it worked out, so he ran a very good race.”

EMO Stables’ Pick Six finished second in the Diliberto, returning mutuels of $4.80 and $3.80 while finishing a length to the good of Swains News, who paid $13.80 to show after setting early fractions of 24.81 and 50.48

“We’ll keep him here for the season,” said Geier, Princeville Condo’s present trainer of record, “and keep going with the turf stakes series here.”

General Quarters Tightens Up for 4-Year-Old Campaign

Earlier Saturday afternoon, 2009 Grade I Blue Grass hero and Triple Crown veteran General Quarters, owned and trained by 76-year-old former high school principle Tom McCarthy, made his first start since the Preakness, pressed the pace in an allowance optional claiming sprint and finished second, beaten only a half-length by odds-on favorite Tempo Five, owned by Hunter Run Stable and trained by Tom Amoss.

“This race today was too short for him,” said Jose Riquelme, who rode General Quarters Saturday. “He needs two turns.”

The $75,000 Louisiana Handicap Jan 23, the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 20 and the Grade II New Orleans Handicap March 27 are all possibilities on General Quarters’ future itinerary.

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