Updated on 09/15/2011 1:31PM

Saturday Stakes Roundup


Unlikely 14-1 shot wins Old Hickory

NEW ORLEANS - Lead by Example, an improbable winner based on his form, rallied in the stretch to narrowly win the Old Hickory Stakes on a rainy Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Winless in five starts since taking a $50,000 maiden claimer more than five months ago at Churchill Downs, Lead by Example refused to let the Louisiana-bred Walk in the Snow pass after the pair converged inside the sixteenth pole, winning by a neck in a driving finish.

Lead by Example, a 2-year-old Birdonthewire colt owned by Bill Schettini and trained by Josie Carroll, paid $31.20 to win. He ran the 5 1/2 furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:05.

The pace in the Old Hickory was torrid, with Ammodio battling Halo of Hearts through a quarter-mile in 21.61 seconds and a half-mile in 45.60. Those splits were too taxing on a wet track that hadn't produced especially fast times, and the front-runners were collared shortly after turning for home.

Lead by Example, who had run in three straight route races, was outrun early in the race.

With jockey Kirk Leblanc saving ground from post 1, he began rallying on the far turn, with Walk in the Snow just to his outside, and split horses after turning for home. Walk in the Snow went outside the tiring speed and the two hooked up for their battle to the wire.

Far Away Bell, who moved to the lead in midstretch, held on well to finish a clear third. The 2-1 favorite, Lunar Bounty, close to the fast pace, faded to finish eighth.

- Marcus Hersh

Calder: Tour of the Cat in game win

MIAMI - Tour of the Cat turned the tables on his nemesis TV Sports Director and confirmed his status as one of the top 3-year-olds on the Calder grounds when he registered a half-length victory in the $60,000 The Vid Handicap.

Tour of the Cat had finished behind TV Sports Director in the Needles and Simply Majestic stakes earlier this season. But jockey Abad Cabassa Jr. took advantage of his inside post and sent Tour of the Cat to a lead that he never relinquished, despite setting a rapid pace and drifting through the late stages of The Vid.

TV Sports Director advanced to close contention along the rail around the second turn, bore out a bit entering the stretch, and could not quite reach the winner with his final rally. Vikadontis came from well back to finish third.

Tour of the Cat, who is trained by Myra Mora for the Double G Stable, returned $10.40. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.46 over a firm course.

"We gave him most of the summer off after he got sick in New York," said Mora. "He can go short or long, run on turf or dirt."

Mora said that Tour of the Cat would probably race next in the $100,000 Pete Axthelm on Dec. 22.

A race earlier, Vague Memory, turning back off a pair of longer races, parlayed a perfect trip into a

1 1/2-length victory over 2-1 favorite Platinum Tiara in the $60,000 U Can Do It Handicap.

In her two previous starts, Vague Memory had finished a tiring third in the 1 1/16-mile Shocker T. Handi

cap and a troubled ninth in the grassy Powder Break Handicap at a mile on turf. But she was able to stalk the pace of Too Many in the

6 1/2-furlong U Can Do It, assumed command midway on the turn, and then gradually edged clear from Platinum Tiara through the stretch. Platinum Tiara raced forwardly but lacked a solid closing bid. Castlebrook broke slowly, raced wide, and rallied mildly to finish third.

Vague Memory paid $20.40 after covering the distance in 1:18.48 over a fast track. Julio Garcia rode the winner for trainer Ross Wolfendale.

"I ran her in here because this was the only race for her right now," said Wolfendale. "The biggest thing is keeping her from getting dirt in her face and Julio was able to keep her in the clear from the start."

- Mike Welsch

Woodbine: Devil Valentine best

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Favored Devil Valentine ($2.40) was a comfortable winner of the $125,125 Sir Barton Stakes at Woodbine.

Devil Valentine defeated only three opponents while posting his third consecutive victory in the 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds. He dueled with Ruff Tuff Stuff through fractions of 23.04 seconds, 47.01, and 1:12.12, and pulled away in the stretch to win by 2 3/4 lengths.

Indian Dan closed steadily to edge Ruff Tuff Stuff by a nose for second. The final time was 1:45.08.

Emile Ramsammy rode Devil Valentine, who earned $78,829 for owners Sandra and Gerry Gibbs and trainer Fenton Platts.

- Ron Gierkink