Go heads eastward, wins Japan Stakes Pino-driven colt controls $54,225 race from start

November 10, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The connections of Go looked eastward when they were searching for easier spots to run.

Belmont Park proved a little tough as the colt finished fifth in the Grade II Jamaica Handicap on the turf, so off to Maryland they came.

Yesterday, Go rewarded them with a 1 3/4 -length victory in the $54,225 Japan Racing Association Stakes at Laurel Park and now will stay awhile.

"We brought this horse East to find some softer spots," trainer Michael Machowsky said. "We were looking to build his confidence and get a chance to put him on the mud. It all worked out in our favor."

The 7-5 favorite, Go and jockey Mario Pino controlled the race almost from the start. The horse rated nicely on the inside, drew clear at the second turn, then dug in gamely to hold off the rally of Sharp Prospectus and Edgar Prado.

"There wasn't a lot of speed in the race, so Michael said to break out there ahead and if we didn't, not to worry about it," Pino said. He was riding Go for the first time.

Machowsky said the owners (Shirley Aizenstat and Chris Lesbines) just rejected a $200,000 offer for Go, who has won more than $133,000 during a 14-race career.

"For this horse to win is very important to them," he said. "He has quite a following. Most of these people [12 in the winner's circle] came in from out of town for the race."

Go will remain at Laurel for the $100,000 Annapolis Stakes Nov. 28.

"My groom will stay with him," Machowsky said. "I haven't told the groom and will have to break the news gently. He's already homesick for California."

Machowsky said he wanted to run Go in the Oak Tree Derby back home, but was content to win at Laurel.

"He [Go] has heart and he knows where the wire is," he said. "He's talented and trains better every day, so look for us to hopefully be back in the winner's circle here in a couple of weeks."

Sovereign Storm ran evenly to finish third, seven lengths behind Sharp Prospectus in an event won in 2 minutes, 5 3/5 seconds over 1 1/4 miles.

NOTES: The National Turf Writers Association has established the Jim Bolus Memorial Scholarship at the University of Louisville. Bolus was widely recognized throughout the industry as the leading historian on the Kentucky Derby. He died in May. Dover Downs reopened last weekend with 330 simulcast outlets, more than double the number at the close of its last meeting. Prado, the nation's leading rider, was shut out yesterday after being disqualified in the third race aboard Greenspring Willy and placed second. He bothered the oncoming Ivar's Baby Boy in the stewards' opinion.

Pub Date: 11/10/97

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