08/02/2008 11:00PM

Duggan upsets the big boys


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Saturday's Flanders Stakes was full of some high-profile trainers and big-name horses. But it was unheralded trainer David Duggan and his little-known filly Porte Bonheur who stole the show at Saratoga.

Receiving a ground-saving ride from Ramon Dominguez, Porte Bonheur shot through an opening along the rail turning for home and outfinished the Bobby Frankel-trained Lovely Isle to win the $82,750 Flanders Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by two lengths.

Lovely Isle, coming off two allowance wins at Belmont, finished second by 3 3/4 lengths over Morakami. More Happy, who won the Grade 2 Adirondack here last year, finished fourth for Bob Baffert in her first start in 11 months. Irish Smoke, who won the Grade 1 Spinaway here last year, finished a dull sixth, her third loss in as many starts this year.

Porte Bonheur, who finished fourth to Lovely Isle in her last start, covered the six furlongs in 1:10.57 and returned $17. It was the third winner from four starters at the meet for Duggan, a former assistant to Eoin Harty and John Kimmel who went out on his own in 2005. Duggan's other winners included Lyke a Hurricane ($26.60) and Cagey Girl ($47.60).

"Delighted," Duggan said. "What can you say? Everything is just hitting fire at the right time. She's a decent filly. The last time, she just got in trouble. She ran a credible race, she came back super and trained well - that's why we took a shot."

Duggan said Porte Bonheur would likely run back in the Grade 3 Victory Ride here on Aug. 23.

Migliore gets first win at meet

Richard Migliore rallied longshot Storm on the Track ($41) down the center of the inner turf course for a head victory in Saturday's fifth race. It was Migliore's first win from just five mounts at the meet, and his first in New York since he returned from Southern California, where he had ridden the last 21 months. Prior to moving to California, Migliore had ridden in New York for two decades.

It was Migliore's first winner at Saratoga since Sept. 3, 2006.

"Wins up here are always meaningful, but my first meet back here and for the connections that I have a lot of history with, the Casse family - for them to put me on a horse to kick this hard and get the money is pretty special," Migliore said.

Migliore said Mark Casse was one of the first trainers to use him on a regular basis after he lost his apprentice status in the mid-1980s.

"I rode for Mark when I was 18, he was 22 - we killed them together," Migliore said. "I actually held his son Norman - who saddled this horse - as an infant. Here he is, he put me on this winner. You can't script that stuff."

Winning Move buys Vicarino

Steve Sigler’s Winning Move Stable has purchased the stakes-winning colt Vicarino from the estate of the late Harry Aleo. Vicarino, based in Northern California with trainer Greg Gilchrist, was scheduled to arrive in Saratoga on Saturday. He will be trained by Gary Contessa.

Vicarino, a 4-year-old son of Vicar, has won 6 of 12 starts. Most recently, he finished fourth in the Sam. J. Whiting Stakes at the Alameda County Fair.

Discreet Treasure takes after his brother

One of the more exciting prospects on the grounds this summer is Discreet Treasure, a 3-year-old son of El Prado and a half-brother to the sensational Discreet Cat, who won the first six starts of his career, including his debut here in 2005. Discreet Treasure is owned by Elaine Robsham and trained by Stanley Hough, the same combination that had Discreet Cat before selling him privately to Godolphin following his first start.

Like Discreet Cat, Discreet Treasure was an eye-catching winner right off the bat. He rallied from 16 lengths back over a muddy track to score a 12 1/4-length victory in a seven-furlong off-the-turf maiden race at Belmont Park on July 5. Discreet Treasure was entered for the main track only in an allowance race here Wednesday but did not run.

"He's the complete opposite of his brother," said Hough shortly after Discreet Treasure worked an easy five furlongs in 1:03.80 under jockey Edgar Prado on Friday. "With his brother, you had all you could do to slow him down but this one is very laid-back and just kind of plods along. You have to ask him to work fast, but Edgar just sat on him out there."

Hough said he's planning to bring Discreet Treasure back in a first-level allowance race over the main track here Aug. 10.

"We got several offers for him after his first start, although not from Godolphin, but Mrs. Robsham is not interested," said Hough. "She's not a seller by nature. She didn't even want to sell Discreet Cat, but the money was so crazy it finally got to a point we just couldn't turn it down."

Narrow loss for Jibboom in comeback

Trainer Bobby Frankel was understandably disappointed after his Grade 3 winner Jibboom was caught at the wire by Final Refrain when launching her 2008 campaign on Friday in a $50,000 optional claiming race on turf. Jiboom had been sidelined by a condylar fracture in her hind leg after closing out her 3-year-old campaign with an easy victory in Keeneland's Grade 3 Raven Run Stakes.

"She'll bounce back," said Frankel. "I might look for a stakes for her next. Maybe the Ballerina. We've got a lot of options since she can run on turf or dirt. We've also got the Polytrack at Keeneland, which she's already won over, and possibly the Breeders' Cup, seven-eighths at Santa Anita."

The Grade 1 Ballerina will be run at seven furlongs on Aug. 24.

Final Refrain is stabled one barn over from Frankel with trainer Al Stall Jr. The victory was the first this year for the hard-knocking filly, who has been off the board just twice in eight starts this season. It was also the first at the meet for Stall, who seldom waits this long to get into the Saratoga winner's circle.

"We won the first race of the meet each of the last two years," said Stall. "This time it took us a little over a week, but that's okay. I'll take it. That was sweet today, because she beat a really good horse in Bobby's filly."

* Trainer Christophe Clement opted to hold Sporting Art out of Monday's Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes even though the 3-year-old would have been among the favorites in the turf fixture. "He needs a bit more time," said Clement, who added that he did not have another spot picked out.

* Bill Mott, the leading trainer here in 2007 with 27 victories, got his first win of the meet Saturday when Compromise took a first-level allowance race on the turf. Mott had lost with his first 17 starters at the meet.

* Unbridled Belle worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Saturday morning in preparation for a start in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap here on Aug. 22.

* Trainer Shug McGaughey confirmed Dancing Forever as a starter in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational on Aug. 16 shortly after the turf specialist worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 in company with stablemate Bet the Limit on Saturday.

* Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez, who is currently serving a 10-day suspension, was married in his native Puerto Rico on Saturday. He will resume riding here Wednesday.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch