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Legal Move returns with new connections
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It didn't take long for Legal Move to get back to Ontario after the 4-year-old colt sold for $245,000 at Keeneland last Saturday.
And now Legal Move will be looking to pick up where he left off when he goes postward for new owner Bruno Schickedanz and new trainer Mark Fournier in Saturday's $150,000 Kennedy Road.
Legal Move won the six-furlong allowance prep for the Kennedy Road here Nov. 1, bringing his career earnings to $832,089 in what turned out to be his last start for trainer Mark Casse and Bill Farish's Woodford Racing LLC.
The Woodford group's policy has been to sell its horses at age 4, and Schickedanz, who is very active in both the racing and breeding games, had learned of Legal Move's availability.
"I was kind of keeping an eye on him, without telling the whole world," Schickedanz said. "I had him vetted, and he was sound. I was hoping to get him for a little less, but what can you do?"
Legal Move checked back into Woodbine on Tuesday afternoon.
"We pulled a 'blood' on him and took him out for a jog this morning," Fournier said in his office here Wednesay morning. "Everything's good. It seems like he handles everything well; he's a professional."
Legal Move could put an immediate dent in that investment in the Kennedy Road, an open six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up.
Patrick Husbands, who has been aboard Legal Move in 18 of his 23 starts, including 8 of his 10 wins, retains the mount.
And, Schickedanz is looking forward to racing his new acquisition again next season.
"I would think he's still got a bit of a future ahead of him," Schickedanz said. "If I can get my purchase price out of him and get him over the $1omillion mark, I should have a nice free stud."
The fact that Legal Move is Ontario-sired and a son of the popular Ontario stallion Bold Executive also made him very attractive to Schickedanz.
"The bottom line is he's by Canada's top stallion, who is the second-best stallion in the world on all-weather tracks," Schickedanz said. "Commercially I don't do a lot, but he'll certainly do good for my own Poly-surface mares, and I'm sure other people will want to breed to him."
Members of Schickedanz's current stallion band include Wake at Noon, Salty Note, and Uncle Woger.
Field Commission still getting better
Field Commission, who was beaten a nose and a half-length as the third-place finisher in the Kennedy Road prep, also is back for the main event.
An Ontario-bred 3-year-old colt owned by Solera Farm and his trainer, Danny Vella, Field Commission was unraced last year and has fashioned a 4-2-3 record from 10 outings this season.
"He's improved every start," Vella said. "He's still learning; he's just getting the hang of the game."
Vella feels that Field Commission's relative lack of experience may have cost him in the Kennedy Road prep.
"Turning into the stretch, Legal Move came out a bit and they got pretty close," Vella said. "That distracted him for a while.
"He's a young horse; he's not as polished as some of the veterans still."
Tyler Pizarro, who had ridden Field Commission to three straight wins under allowance terms prior to the Kennedy Road prep, will be back aboard for the Kennedy Road.
Pleasant Review set for Bessarabian
Vella also has a candidate for Sunday's $150,000 Bessarabian in Pleasant Review, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred who races for her breeder, Edward Seltzer.
Pleasant Review, who joined Vella's string here this summer, disappointed when making her local bow in a first-level allowance at a mile and 70 yards on Polytrack here Sept. 10.
Switched to turf, Pleasant Review rebounded by winning her first condition at 6 1/2 furlongs, and then came back to finish a solid second in the one-mile River Memories, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares.
"The first time I ran her on Polytrack, I just didn't know her that well and the race had come off the turf," Vella said. "After the way she ran on turf, I breezed her on Poly and I liked the way she went. I had to give her one more chance.
Pleasant Review returned to Polytrack in an optional $62,500 claiming race here Nov. 8, and although she finished second behind the favored Dhanyata, she was moved up to first via a disqualification.
The stewards ruled that Patrick Husbands, aboard Dhanyata, had struck the nose of Pleasant Review with his whip
"At one point, she was at the other horse's saddlecloth, running hard," Vella said. "When she got hit, she shied away and stayed about a length and half behind."
Pizarro, who has ridden Pleasant Review in her last three starts, again will do the honors.
Starticus euthanized after fall
Trainer Ralph Biamonte's barn suffered a crushing blow recently when his stable star, Starticus, had to be euthanized.
Starticus, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old gelding owned by Danny Lococo, had run the best race of his career here Oct. 4, finishing a close third after setting all the pace in the Gradeo2 Nearctic at six furlongs on turf.
Following the Nearctic, Biamonte had considered nominating Starticus for Saturday's Kennedy Road, but opted instead to put him away for the season with an eye toward turf sprinting next year.
"We were going to send him to the farm, but first we X-rayed his ankles, which have always been a concern," Biamonte said.
The results prompted Biamonte to send Starticus to the nearby University of Guelph's veterinary clinic for an MRI examination.
"Coming out of the anesthetic, he fell down and broke his elbow," Biamonte said. "That would have finished him as a racehorse, but we thought maybe we could save him and have him as a riding horse or something."
Surgery was performed, but a follow-up examination revealed that the operation had not been successful and Starticus had to be put down.
"It's devastating, when you've been in the game all your life and he was the best horse you've ever had," Biamonte said. "He tried so hard."
Starticus raced just 10 times, fashioning a record of 4-2-2 for earnings of $246,773. The current year had been by far his best as Starticus found his niche going short on the turf.
Prior to the Nearctic, Starticus had finished second to the then-streaking Mr. Nightlinger in the Arlington Sprint at 5 1/2 furlongs on grass.