Shashobegon dominates Conniver

Two scratches leave field of four for Laurel feature

March 20, 2000|By SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Shashobegon made short work of three rivals to win yesterday's $60,000 Conniver Stakes for older fillies and mares at Laurel Park.

A field of six was entered in the 7-furlong Conniver, but Rangeley Lady, who flipped in the starting gate, and Potomac Bend, who was standing to her right, were ordered scratched by the track veterinarian just before the start. That left a field of four.

Carnival Court and Vanna Go sprinted to the lead, with Shashobegon tracking them in third. Shashobegon spurted by the top two in midstretch and drove on to victory.

Shashobegon's winning margin was 3 1/4 lengths. She completed the 7 furlongs in 1 minute, 24 2/5 seconds over a fast main track. Vanna Go held onto second. Northern Mist rallied to be third.

Shashobegon paid $3.40 as the favorite and headed a $9.80, 6-4 exacta.

"I wanted her to be close," jockey Jozbin Santana said. "The other horses scratched, and I had a lot of horse the whole way. I worked her recently and told Richard [Small, the owner-trainer] she was wonderful. It was unfortunate that the other two horses had to be scratched. They're both very good horses. It would have been a bigger victory, but I'm satisfied to win this race."

Said Small: "This is her ideal distance. A little farther would be too far."

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