Sweet Goodbye breezes to victory in Conniver Stakes

March 14, 2010|By Sports Digest

William Harris' Sweet Goodbye, the 1-5 betting favorite, cruised past five other fillies and mares to win Saturday's $70,000 Conniver Stakes at Laurel Park. The daughter of Louis Quatorze finished the seven-furlong race over a sloppy track in 1 minute, 23.95 seconds, defeating late-closing long shot Call of Lion by 2 1/4 lengths. "She is awesome," said winning jockey J.D. Acosta, who has been aboard the 5-year-old mare in all 14 career starts. "She has learned to run from behind, which has made her a much more complete runner." Sweet Goodbye, trained by Chris Grove, has won 10 career races, including seven stakes, for $436,072. She paid $2.40 in the Conniver Stakes, and this was her third added money score in a row, as she completed a Laurel Park stakes trifecta with victories in the What A Summer (Jan. 9) and the Grade II Barbara Fritchie Handicap (Feb. 13). "I wasn't expecting her best effort today," Grove said. "But we got exactly what we wanted leading into her next race." Grove indicated the mare's next race would be the $250,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town on April 17. Grove, best known for training millionaire mare Silmaril and winner of 12 stakes races at five distances, won both Grade II handicaps at Laurel last month, also taking the General George with Greenspring. "I am really happy," he said. "With each accomplishment a new target unfolds, and with each there is more pressure. I am looking at these two [Sweet Goodbye and Greenspring] and attempting to reach the millionaire mark. In Maryland, I think only Dickie Small, who trained Concern and Broad Brush, can say that. With each accomplishment you come up with bigger and better goals. That is what drives me."

- From Sun staff and news services

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