`Bastille' stretch run carries day at Laurel

Horse racing

September 24, 2006|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

If Dreadnaught and Fishy Advice had known that Ashkal Way was going to sit out the $200,000 John D. Schapiro Memorial Breeders' Cup turf race at Laurel Park, they might have figured one or the other would win.

But sitting behind Fishy Advice, saving ground along the rail, was Bastille, a dark brown 4-year-old, who was stepping up in class and who stepped up in a big way, nipping Fishy Advice just before the wire and relegating Dreadnaught to third yesterday.

"Our position worked well," said Bastille's jockey, Joe Rocco Jr. "We were right behind the speed horse [Fishy Advice] and then he found the hole. I had a lot of confidence. I ride him a lot in the mornings and he's done nothing wrong."

Bastille, by Quiet American, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone, who were present for the award presentation. The Firestones bred, owned and raced Genuine Risk, one of just three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby, and continue to enjoy her company on their Upperville, Va., farm.

The Firestones' trainer, James W. Murphy, said he decided to run Bastille in the Schapiro because, "He's been in good form, and when a horse gets good you better run him."

The going wasn't as tough as it could have been. Morning line favorite Ashkal Way was scratched. His trainer opted for a graded race at Belmont Park next Saturday instead of shipping the horse five hours to run here.

In the $60,000 Battle of the Sexes Turf Handicap, favorite Nicole's Dream shipped in from Chicago and was ready to run. The only problem for the 6-year-old mare was that she was giving up 6 pounds to Bingobear, a hard-running 5-year-old by Polish Numbers, who won the race by three-fourths of a length over Midwatch.

"I actually felt sorry for her [Nicole's Dream]," said Bingobear's trainer, Mark Shuman, after his horse won with a come-from-behind sprint that caught Nicole's Dream down the stretch. "My horse has been running in strong company and has been second to horses who set track records in three of his last four races."

Jockey Anna (Rosie) Napravnik rode the winner, who paid $11.60, $4.20 and $6.20. Shuman said he hopes to have her back on his horse for the Maryland Million Turf Spring in three weeks.

Nicole's Dream, who set the pace before giving way in the stretch, felt the 121 pounds she was carrying and finished fourth, with Southern Missile catching her at the wire for third.sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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