Friday, October 10, 2008
WAQUOIT’S LOVE GETS ANOTHER SHOT AT CRIMINOLOGIST
As Belmont Park’s Fall Championship Meet enters its final weeks, owners and trainers are already making arrangements for the late fall and winter. Some will remain in New York when Aqueduct opens on October 29. Others will set up in warmer climates. Still others will go back and forth from New York to Florida.
Trainer Tim Hills was on the road this week, leaving Belmont Park and arriving Thursday morning at his 2 ½-acre farm in Southwest Ranches, Fla.., just west of Fort Lauderdale, so that his wife, Laine, could resume her veterinary practice.
Dismissed at 13-1 in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel here on September 13, Waquoit’s Love took the lead and appeared comfortable on the soft going, only to be caught by Criminologist at the wire. She lost by a head.
“It was kind of a heart-breaking loss,” Hill said. “We had missed some time with her this spring because of a bruised hoof. She’s a big mare and it takes her a long time to get over something like that and get fit. The Noble Damsel was by far her best race this year, and I really think that the soft ground didn’t help her at all.”
What Hills was able to take from the Noble Damsel was that Waquoit’s Love was still a versatile horse.
“She has won from off the pace and from far back,” Hill said. “The Noble Damsel was a paceless race, and she wound up on the lead. She was just galloping along there, and she put in a very good race.”
Hills added that Waquoit’s Love has been training well at Belmont Park and hopes she can improve upon her last race. Jockey Cornelio Velasquez will have the mount in the Athenia, in which she will again meet Criminologist.
Although there was some rain Thursday morning, the turf course was listed as “good” for the start of the day’s race card at Belmont Park. Forecasts for the weekend are for sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 70s.
Owned by Stuart S. Janney III and Phipps Stable, Criminologist easily won the Athenia last year over a yielding course. The 5-year-old Maria’s Mon mare appears to like softer going and the condition of the turf course on Saturday may prove the difference.
Darley Stable brings in a new shooter here with Criticism (GB), a 4-year-old Machiavellian filly who has been racing in France for trainer Henri-Alex Pantall. She has not raced since December 12, 2007, when she was 10th in the Prix Lyphard on the Polytrack at Deauville.
The second- and fourth-place finishers of Monmouth Park’s Revidere on September 14, Oh Deanne and Marie Rossa (GB) are entered here, as is Classic Neel, who exits a sixth-place finish in the Noble Damsel,
Jayeff B Stable’s Social Queen turns back in distance after a pair of fifth-place finishes. Trained by Alan Goldberg, the 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer is undefeated at the Athenia distance.
Completing the field is Sunshine for Life, a Giant’s Causeway filly who has won two of four starts on the Belmont Park turf.
The field for Saturday’s Grade 3 Athenia Handicap:
PP. HORSE TRAINER JOCKEY WGT.
1. Oh Deanne Cam Gambolati Joe Bravo 114
2. Criticism (GB) Tom Albertrani Chris DeCarlo 116
3. Criminologist Shug McGaughey Edgar Prado 120
4. Waquoit’s Love Tim Hills Cornelio Velasquez 116
5, Classic Neel Richard Violette Jr. Richard Migliore 113
6. Sunshine For Life Richard Schosberg Channing Hill 114
7. Marie Rosa H. Graham Motion Mike Luzzi 113
8. Social Queen Alan Goldberg Rajiv Maragh 116l
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