On own, Acrolect surprises field to win Laurel's Challedon Stakes

Horse Racing

December 21, 2003|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

The owner and trainer were nowhere to be found, but Acrolect showed up and trounced a field of Maryland-breds in yesterday's $60,000 Challedon Stakes at Laurel Park.

Owned by Mark Hopkins and trained by Michael Dickinson, the same team that captured the Grade I De Francis Dash at Laurel last month with A Heuvo, Acrolect broke alertly, stalked the lone speed and powered ahead at the top of the lane to win the seven-furlong test in 1 minute, 22.59 seconds.

Favorite Aggadan rallied for the place, 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner. Implicit was third.

"I didn't think he could beat Aggadan," said Dickinson from his training center in Cecil County. "Acrolect is all heart and courage. He had never won a stake and he's 6 years old. I didn't think that was going to change. I would have been delighted for second and truly expected to finish third in this race."

The owner was in Miami and the conditioner sent one of his assistants to Laurel to saddle Acrolect. Jockey Jose Caraballo took his instructions over the telephone and then rode the bay gelding to a picture-perfect victory.

"There was a lot of speed in the race and I was hoping a couple of horses would go at it," Caraballo said. "But nobody went with the leader so I just sat behind him. He rated well and when I asked him to move he went on gamely. Michael's horses are always ready and always finish very well."

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