09/18/2011 2:25PM

Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland last race of Winter Memories's campaign

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Winter Memories, who rallies to beat Theyskens’ Theory by a neck in the Garden City, will not be pointed to a start in the Breeders' Cup this fall.

 ELMONT, N.Y. - It is a matter of public record that Winter Memories won Saturday’s Grade 1 Garden City Stakes by a neck at Belmont Park. But trainer Jimmy Toner had to watch the replay several times for further evidence.

“I’m still not sure how she won,’’ Toner said. “So every time I watched it, I said `Are you sure she won?’ ‘’

Overcoming traffic and making up 3 1/2 lengths in the final furlong while passing all seven of her rivals, Winter Memories did indeed win the Garden City over Theyskens’ Theory. Winter Memories, who had to have run a final furlong in 10.60 seconds - or slightly faster - recovered quite quickly, according to Toner.

“After the race she was pulling everybody around,’’ Toner said Sunday morning. “Ate up good last night, was good and bright this morning and none the worse for wear. It was just an awesome performance; it was an eye-opener, I’ll tell you that.’’

 Winter Memories has now won 4 of 5 races this year and will make just one more start, that being in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 15, before being put away for the year. Toner reiterated that Winter Memories would not be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf this year, in part because its run just three weeks after the Queen Elizabeth.

“The other race is three weeks later and I did that once, I just don’t feel comfortable doing all that again,’’ Toner said.

 The Queen Elizabeth, like the Garden City, is a Grade 1 and it is also a race that Memories of Silver - the mother of Winter Memories - who is also owned by John Phillips and trained by Toner - won.

 “That has been our goal all year, basically, that’s what we want to do,’’ Toner said. “Next year? That’ll take care of itself.’’

 Toner may have an interesting problem next year, namely selecting which distance he should run Winter Memories. Typically, an explosive late kick like she possesses is more effective at shorter distances than in marathons. Races such as the Jenny Wiley at Keeneland and the Just a Game at Belmont and perhaps the Breeders’ Cup Mile against males, could be considered.

“Before we plot out next year’s schedule I’ll give it some thought in which direction we’re going,’’ Toner said. “You’re either going to do the Beverly D., Flower Bowl, Breeders’ Cup or do we concentrate on the shorter races? That’ll be something we sort out next year.’’

Winter Memories earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure for her effort in the Garden City.