Aiken Trials features great day of racing
Don Howard and Gustav Schickedanz’s Say No More left no doubt with his performance Saturday in winning the City of Aiken Trophy. The 5-year-old gelded son of the 1996 Sovereign Award winning sprinter Langfuhr won by daylight, it was 3 1/2-lengths back to runner-up Dunbarton Stable’s Friscan, and with his performance Say No More established a new track record for 4 1/2-furlongs that had been set the previous year by his entry mate Mobil Unit, who would finish third in the race. Say No More covered the distance in 52 2/5 seconds, shaving a full second off of the previous mark, giving the connections of the chestnut gelding consecutive victories, as the Schickedanz owned, Mike Keogh trained, Sal Torres ridden Well Played held off a determined Dogwood Stable’s Cowboy Prince to win the Islein Hall of Fame Trophy, the previous race, by a nose.
Say No More is multiple stakes placed, and has earned $240,847, and will make his 2013 debut over the Polytrack Elite surface at Woodbine, but will ship to run on the dirt later in the year, said Keogh. The gelding was on the muscle, and was training well coming into Saturday’s race.
“He’s a different horse on the dirt,” said Keogh. “It seems like we have quite a few of those.”
The other half of the Howard and Schickedanz entry Mobil Unit placed third in the race, after establising the track record the previous year at the distance during the 2012 City of Aiken Trophy.
The chestnut gelding was impressive in winning a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race last July 24 at Fort Erie, scoring a 7 3/4-length victory in equalling the track record. Say No More placed in the Cup and Saucer Stakes as a juvenile, the Queenston Stakes and Achievement Stakes during his sophomore campaign, and the George Frostad Memorial Stakes as a 4-year-old.
“He had a 99 Beyer Figure (in the allowance win at Fort Erie),” said Keogh. “He ran great.”
Schickedanz bred Say No More, and was also the breeder of Langfuhr, who was conditioned by Keogh, and trained over the Aiken Training Track.
“Every horse that I race is a homebred,” said Schickedanz, a member of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. “I love Thoroughbred racing. Langfuhr was a wonderful horse for us, and turned out to be an outstanding sire.”
Bill and Scarlett Simpson’s Dunbarton Stable’s Friscan, second in the 2012 edition of the Aiken Trials, placed second in the 2013 running. Mobil Unit was third and Wendy O’Leary and Knightquest Stables Inc.’s Itzhoweeroll finished fourth.
Manchester Farm’s Mike Rutherford’s 2-year-old filly I Thirtyfive, broke alertly and sat off the early pace being set by Dulcify and Illusionist, but would find racing room, going four-wide to score a 3/4-length victory under the confident handling of rider Erin Mayer, to capture the Gaver Trophy. The winner was conditioned by Legacy Stable’s Brad Stauffer.
“She’s a filly that we stuck in at the last minute that we’ve only snapped out of the gate one time,” said Stauffer, who is the Aiken Training Track president. “We put her in to fill the race, and the owners were kind enough to let us do it. I’m very pleased for him. It was the rider’s first time riding (in the trials). It was a nice competitive race, and that’s what we like to see.”
An unnamed colt by Grade 2 winner Successful Appeal repulsed the bid of Dogwood Stable’s Carolinian to win the Coward Trophy, the day’s second race, by a length. The winner is owned by Charles Amrstrong, was piloted to victory by jockey Chad Frederick, and is conditioned by Dolly Bostwick.
“He was good,” said Frederick. “I’ve been working with him all week. I had a lot of confidence in him. I knew he could run. There were some questions as to how he would handle the noise and crowd, but he handled it pretty good. He’s a game litte horse.”
Pam Gleason and Havana left the field in their wake, cruising to an easy victory in the Polo Pony Race, and in doing so captured the Post Trophy, the day’s third trial. The 9-year-old bay mare was much the best in the six horse field.
Hurryup Jo was the first horse trainer James Layden, Jr. had saddled in a race, and the 3-year-old daughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Henny Hughes, broke cleanly from the gate and would dictate the terms in the race’s early going, before edging away to win impressively under Edgar Lyons to capture the 4 1/2-furlong Von Stade Trophy. The filly was purchased as a yearling prospect with the intention of consigning her to a juvenile sale. Hurryup Jo was eventually consigned to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, said Layden, Jr. The filly owned by Ted and Joanne Hoover will be making her next start at Penn National.
“We had the fastest work there, 33 1/5 seconds (for three furlongs),” said Layden, Jr., who is based at Dr. Doris Tummillo’s Palmetto Thoroughbred Training Center. “We decided to hold onto her, bring her back home, and give her an opportunity to race. When she rounded the turn, she kind of pricked her ears a bit as she saw the crowd, and wanted to look around, and Edgar kind of sat down on her a bit. It was a perfect trip. We couldn’t have asked her for anything better.”
The Iselin Hall of Fame Trophy would feature a riveting stretch duel between Gustav Schickedanz’s Well Played and Dogwood Stable’s Cowboy Prince. The rivals would engage one another determinedly in the final quarter-mile as Well Played responded when set down by Salvadore Torres. Cowboy Prince, with Miguel Ramos in the irons, would loom boldly through the stretch, but would be denied as the Mike Keogh charge surged late to turn back his rival, winning by the margin of a long nose.
The 4-year-old gelded son of Langfuhr will be pointed to a race later this spring on the dirt, said Keogh.