10/26/2001 11:00PM

Saturday Stakes Roundup


Connected pips Broken Vow in Keeneland finale

LEXINGTON, KY - Connected wore down odds-on favorite Broken Vow in the final yards to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Fayette Stakes on Saturday, closing day of the Keeneland fall meet.

Connected, ridden by Marlon St Julien, overtook Broken Vow inside the sixteenth pole of the 1 1/8-mile race, prevailing by a half-length. It was 2 3/4 lengths back to Super Derby winner Outofthebox in third.

Broken Vow, whose connections chose to bypass the Breeders' Cup Classic in favor of the Fayette, pressed the early pace of Concerned Minister for most of the race, then took the lead from that rival at the quarter pole. Opening up a three-length lead in the stretch, Broken Vow became noticeably leg weary in the final jumps and was caught by Connected.

Connected, a 4-year-old gelded son of Twining, turned heads earlier in the meet with a last-to-first rally in the Warfield Stakes, in which he earned a Beyer figure of 114. Largely ignored by the Breeders' Cup Day crowd at Keeneland at 10-1, Connected ($22) emerged from the back of the pack in a similar style to capture his first graded stakes in the Fayette.

Owned by Helen Alexander and the Helen Groves Revocable Trust and trained by David Carroll, Connected extended his Keeneland record to 3 wins in 4 starts and his overall record to 8 wins in 21 starts with earnings now exceeding $400,000. St Julien has now won the Fayette twice in the last three years, his first coming in 1999 with Social Charter.

- Vance Hanson

Woodbine: Feathers rallies

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Feathers rallied along the inside in the stretch under Mickey Walls to overhaul El Prado Essence for a convincing win the $115,000 Ontario Fashion Handicap at Woodbine.

Feathers raced about five lengths off the early lead in the six-furlong dash for fillies and mares. She began to mount her a rally on the turn, and was angled to the rail for the final furlong en route to one-length score in a time of 1:11.11.

El Prado Essence finished a half-length ahead of Dreams Go Bye, who gave way grudgingly after setting fractions of 22.05 and 45.14 seconds. Julie's Witt was fourth in the 10-horse field.

Feathers ($6.70) earned $66,840 for the Tooth and Nail Stable and trainer Ralph Biamonte.

- Ron Gierkink

Arlington: Miner's Gamble wins

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - It is almost not an exaggeration to call Miner's Gamble unbeatable in turf sprints. Miner's Gamble won the $54,750 Taylor's Special Handicap at Arlington by a neck, running his unbeaten streak in one-turn grass races to four.

A 5-year-old Prospector's Gamble gelding owned by Alan Drey, Miner's Gamble beat his stablemate, Bold Pilot, by a neck, completing a sweep of the top two places for trainer Dennis Ebert. It was another half-length back to Final Row, the 2-1 favorite. The entry paid $7 to win.

The field was reduced to seven because of five scratches. The Taylor's Special was the first turf race held here all week, since the course has been drenched by heavy rain. The pace on a course rated "soft" was slow throughout. Final Row was hounded on the early lead by Taylor's Special defending champion Vinnie's Boy and Distinctive Mr. B through a quarter-mile in a tepid 22.79 seconds. Miner's Gamble rated in last early under jockey Frank Lovato, began rolling at the stretch call, and was up in the final strides over Bold Pilot, who had taken the lead inside the final sixteenth-mile.

- Marcus Hersh

La. Downs: Norman breaks record

Trainer Cole Norman broke Frank Brothers's 1987 record for wins in a season at Louisiana Downs Saturday, with Miss Romeo ($3.40) winning the second race. It was Norman's 100th winner at the 89-day meet in Bossier City, La., which runs through Nov. 11.

Brothers set the record during a 125-day season in 1987 when he won 99 races from 369 starters. Through the second race Saturday, Norman had started 295 horses this meet at Louisiana Downs.

"I tell you I'm so happy today," said Norman, who credited his employees, owners, and horses for helping him break the record, which was one of his meet objectives.

Norman, the 32-year-old son of the late trainer Gene Norman, won his first race in 1994. Even though there are still two weeks of racing remaining at Louisiana Downs, Norman has already locked up his fourth title at the track as he leads the standings by 69 wins over second-leading trainer Steve Asmussen.

- Mary Rampellini