12/29/2011 4:38PM

Aqueduct: Lemon Splendor proves she can handle dirt in Swirlaway


 OZONE PARK, N.Y. -  Lemon Splendor, coming off a maiden win on turf, made a successful dirt debut Thursday at Aqueduct, rolling by odds-on favorite Double Mint inside the eighth pole and drawing clear to a 3 3/4-length victory in the $75,000 Swirlaway Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old  fillies.

 Proud and Charming, well out of it early, rallied down the center of the track to get second by one-half length over Double Mint, the 4-5 favorite. She was followed in the order of finish by Berning Carbs, Mon Rose, and Full of Intent.

 Under Cornelio Velasquez, Lemon Splendor was third early as Berning Carbs set fractions of 23.75 seconds for the quarter and 47.31 for the half-mile. Double Mint, under Mike Luzzi, subbing for the injured C.C. Lopez, took the lead turning for home, but could not hold off Lemon Splendor, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid owned by Jim and Susan Hill and trained by George Weaver.

 Lemon Splendor covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:44.96 over a fast inner track and returned $12 to win as the third choice.