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Distorted Legacy back on Polytrack for stakes debut in Selene
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Barbara Minshall did not have unrealistic expectations heading into last Sunday’s Woodbine Mile, which had attracted a field of 13, including four Grade 1 stakes winners. But, Minshall admitted to some disappointment after watching Auteur finish 11th while beaten ninth lengths at odds of 60-1.
“I know it was a tough spot, but I think my horse needed to be more forwardly placed,” said Minshall, who trains the Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Auteur for Bruce Lunsford. “I was disappointed that he didn’t get to run his race.”
On Sunday, Minshall and Lunsford will be looking to leave a more favorable impression with Distorted Legacy, who will be making her stakes debut in the Grade 3, $250,000 Selene for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
Bred in Kentucky by Lundsford, Distorted Legacy was unraced as a 2-year-old.
“She never left the farm,” said Minshall. “She’s been very sound, ever since I had her. But, she was very tricky when she first came in.
“She didn’t want to train. For the first couple of months, just getting her to go over to the track was very difficult. Once she started breezing, she started to turn the corner. But, you still don’t mess with her. She’s very particular.”
Minshall’s special attentions obviously paid dividends as Distorted Legacy won first crack out at in a 1 1/16-mile “B” maiden race here July 14.
“There didn’t seem to be any point going short,” said Minshall. “She has unbelievable stamina. We expected her to do well, but we didn’t know she’d win.”
Distorted Legacy also escaped the notice of the majority of the betting public, as she was sent away at 21-1.
It has been a different story since then, as Distorted Legacy has not gone off at odds of more than 6-1 in three subsequent outings and has justified that support by running well on each occasion.
Distorted Legacy’s first two starts following her maiden win came at her first allowance condition in 1 1/16-mile races on the main track, where she closed on each occasion to finish third and second, respectively, in the latter appearance facing older rivals.
In her latest, Distorted Legacy raced outside her conditions in a second-level optional $62,500 claiming race for fillies and mares and tried the turf for the first time.
“I was trying to find a spot for her, and jumped into a two-other-than mainly to get her a try on the turf,” said Minshall.
Distorted Legacy finished a good second in that Sept. 8 race at 1 1/8 miles, and Minshall is not concerned about moving back to Polytrack for Sunday’s Selene after watching the filly breeze four furlongs in 48.20 seconds here Tuesday with regular rider Jose Contreras in the irons.”
“I think she’s the kind of filly that will handle any surface,” said Minshall. “I’ve had her out on the [dirt] training track, and she trains well there. I train her on Polytrack. I didn’t train her on grass, but she ran well there.”
Three U.S. horses ship in for Selene
The Selene attracted a field of eight, headed by Biofuel, who will be looking for her fourth stakes win in as many starts of the meeting.
The race also attracted three shippers from south of the border.
Kitty in a Tizzy, who has been based at Saratoga with trainer James Bond, has made her last two starts here, including a second-place finish in the seven-furlong Duchess on Aug. 7.
Kayce Ace, conditioned by Eoin Harty, is coming off a second-place finish at Delaware Park in a mile and 70-yard allowance race on Aug. 15.
Tizahit, trained by George Weaver, won last year’s Grade 2 Demoiselle over one mile at Aqueduct and most recently finished a faltering fifth in Saratoga’s Grade 1 Alabama on Aug. 21.
Phoenix at Keeneland next for Hollywood Hit
Hollywood Hit, who had been upset by Smokey Fire as the odds-on choice in the six-furlong Bold Venture here July 17, returned to action with a game win in Wednesday night’s King Corrie.
“It was nice to win a race with him,” said Jim McAleney, who regularly rides Hollywood Hit for trainer Terry Jordan and owner Peter Redekop. “He was only coming off one loss, but it was a very important win for him.”
Despite his 1-2 odds, Hollywood Hit had to work hard for his half-length score in the six-furlong King Corrie as he first had to take back off the speed of Essence Hit Man and later had to fend off a fresh closer in Tend.
“He won the race on guts,” said McAleney. “The last sixteenth of a mile, he won because he wanted to win. I think it was a very good education for him, getting him to come back off one horse. Mentally, it will do him a world of good.”
Hollywood Hit was clocked in 1:10.23 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 97.
“The track was a little confusing,” said Jordan. “The times were all so slow.”
All being well, Jordan will be looking to run Hollywood Hit in the Grade 3, $175,000 Phoenix over six furlongs of Polytrack at Keeneland on Oct. 8.
The Phoenix is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, with the winner being guaranteed a berth in the six-furlong Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
“If he runs what we’re hoping he’s capable of, he’s going to be entered in the Breeders’ Cup,” said Jordan. “That’s kind of been of goal, from the beginning of the year.”
Crist to host two seminars locally
Steven Crist, Daily Racing Form ’s chairman and publisher, will be at Woodbine on Saturday to host a one-hour seminar beginning at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand.
Free copies of Crist’s “Exotic Tickets DVD” will be available while supplies last.
Crist will be at Greenwood on Sunday to host a one-hour seminar beginning at 11:30 a.m. and then will host the Greenwood Thoroughbred Handicapping Challenge at the downtown teletheatre.
Players must buy in at $200, which includes an $80 entry fee and a $120 bankroll. The top two finishers will earn a spot in the 2011 DRF /NTRA Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas and all entry fees will be returned in prize money.
◗ Jockey Edgar Prado has been fined $200 for excessive whipping after the stewards ruled he had struck his mount, Riviera Cocktail, more than three times in succession during the Woodbine Mile. Riviera Cocktail finished 10th.