08/07/2010 6:34PM

Gourmet Dinner rallies from far back in Dr. Fager

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Jim Lisa Photos
gourmet dinner makes the lead in Saturday's Dr. Fager at Calder Race Course.

MIAMI - Gourmet Dinner rallied off a contentious pace and kept his record unblemished by posting a half-length victory over Grand Shores in Saturday’s $75,000 Dr. Fager Stakes at Calder. The six-furlong Dr. Fager is the first leg of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

The Dr. Fager was decided over a track downgraded from fast to sloppy due to a torrential downpour which hit the area about an hour earlier.

Dual Exhauzt rushed up the inside to contest the early pace of the Dr. Fager with the 1-2 favorite Little Drama and longshot Decisive Moment. The trio ran as a team on the front end to the stretch with Gourmet Dinner still five lengths behind the leaders turning for home.

Under jockey Sebastian Madrid, Gourmet Dinner angled out to the middle of the strip while launching his rally entering the stretch, then wore down a stubborn Grand Shores to win for the second time in as many starts. Grand Shores also rallied very wide turning for home, gained the advantage from the leg weary leaders nearing the eighth pole, held gamely but could not last.

Vee’s Accolade rallied from last to finish third but was quickly disqualified and placed fifth for lugging in sharply to impede Watch Me Go inside the sixteenth pole.

Little Drama tired badly and finished a well beaten sixth.

Gourmet Dinner, a son of Trippi, is owned by co-breeder William Terrill’s Our Sugar Bear Stable and trained by Peter Gulyas. He paid $6.60.

“He really didn’t look like he wanted any part of the slop early in the race and wasn’t really running much until Sebastian hit him to wake him up and got him going,” said former trainer Steve Standridge, currently the assistant to Guylas who was at Arlington Park on Saturday.”
Standridge said Gourmet Dinner could make his next start in the $100,000 Affirmed on Aug. 28 or at Saratoga.

Desert Vixen: Awesome Feather now 3 for 3

Awesome Feather beat the rain and remainded undefeated when rallying to a popular and very easy 4 3/4- length victory over Blue Eyed Sweetie in the $75,000 Desert Vixen Stakes. The victory was the third in as many starts for the homebred daughter of Awesome of Course who is owned by Jacks or Better Farm Inc. and trained by Stanley Gold.

Awesome Feather, who captured the J J’sDream Stakes in her previous start, rallied from off a contested pace under a well-judged ride by jockey Jeffrey Sanchez. Awesome Feather launched her bid after tipping three wide into the stretch, ran down My Sunshine Gal near midstretch and won going away. Blue Eyed Sweet rallied from last leaving the turn to outfinish her uncoupled stablemate My Sunshine Gal by a nose to be second.

It’s a Wild Season, Lila Louann, and Ayoumilove rounded out the complete order of finish.

Awesome Feather covered six furlongs over a fast track in 1:14.06 seconds and paid $3. The win was the third on the card for Sanchez.
Jacks or Better, Gold, and Sanchez combined to sweep all three legs of the open division of the 2009 Florida Stallion Stakes with Jackson Bend.

“I was concerned when she broke a little slow and didn’t have the option to go to the lead and for a while I didn’t think the speed would come back,” said Gold. “But the track ended up a little heavier than I thought and she was able to run them down.”

Gold said Awesome Feather would make her next start in the $100,000 Susan’s Girl division of the Stallion Stakes on Aug. 28.

Champali Stakes: Starship Valor rallies from last

Starship Valor waited out the rain and relished the sloppy going, rallying from last to post a head decision over Dream Maestro in the $55,000 Champali Stakes. The start of the race was delayed approximately 10 minutes due to the storm.

Starship Valor, a homebred owned by the Starship Stables, paid $8.60. Motovato, who would have gone postward the overwhelming favorite in the 6 1/2- furlong Champali, was scratched in the paddock by trainer Marty Wolfson due to the sloppy racetrack.

Sincero rallied to finish third after being forced to steady sharply along the inside entering the stretch. How’s Your Halo was ultimately disqualified from fourth and placed fifth for causing interference leaving the turn.