08/08/2013 3:00PM

Suffolk Downs: Victor Laszlo, Silk Spinner rematched at longer distance


EAST BOSTON, Mass.– When he last raced on July 20 in the Rise Jim Stakes at Suffolk Downs, odds-on favorite Victor Laszlo engaged Silk Spinner on the far turn and they dueled down the lane before Silk Spinner reached the wire first by a half-length going six furlongs. On Saturday, Victor Laszlo tries to turn the tables on Silk Spinner when they tangle again in the Last Dance, another $50,000 stakes for Massachusetts-breds.

Victor Laszlo, the namesake of a character in the movie “Casablanca”, won the 2012 Last Dance by an easy 8 3/4 lengths. He will have the benefit from the added distance of the mile and 70-yard race as he makes his third start back from a nine-month break.

“He’s got a big, long stride and is his best at two turns. I think stretching out from six furlongs to the mile and seventy yards will help him,” said owner and breeder Patricia Moseley, who chose the mating of 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop and her homebred Aqualung to produce Victor Laszlo, a 5-year-old gelding.

Although Mrs. Moseley and her late husband James, the former chairman of Suffolk Downs, were in the breeding and racing business for many years, Victor Laszlo is the first horse she bred and foaled at her Hamilton, Mass., farm.

“He was quite tough as a baby and a real character at two and three,” she said. “He and Navy Nurse, who won the Isadorbale Stakes last Saturday, grew up together. Maybe he learned something from her.”

Tammi Piermarini, who also rides Navy Nurse, has been aboard for the last eight of Victor Laszlo’s nine career starts and both of his wins. She has a return call from trainer George Saccardo.

Silk Spinner, who will shoulder co-high weight of 124 pounds with Victor Laszlo, is a three-time statebred stakes winner and figures to attract plenty of support in the field of seven. Owner-breeder-trainer Adel Salim gelded the 5-year-old over the winter and said that has made a big difference in the way the horse approaches his races. Salim is sticking with jockey Elias Peltroche.

Tallys Sundance, Fonzy, Western Strike, Deblue, and The Lion’s Fire complete the field. The Lion’s Fire will be treated with Lasix and race with blinkers for the first time.

Wales sidelined after spill

Jockey Gary Wales, a 27-year-old native of Scotland now in his third season here, continues to recover from injuries he sustained in a spill when his mount broke down in the second race at Suffolk Downs on Aug. 3.

He was diagnosed with a fracture of the L2 vertebrae of the spine and is expected to be out from six to eight weeks. Wales was third in the standings with 23 wins from 159 mounts at the time of the accident.

Piermarini named jockey of the month

Piermarini, who is going for her fourth straight Suffolk riding title and fifth overall, has been named jockey of the month for July. Piermarini has almost twice as many wins (49) as her nearest competitor.

Trainer William Sienkewicz, currently tied atop the standings with 18 victories, won trainer of the month honors, and Juarez Medoza, who works for Jay Bernardini, was groom of the month.

Suffolk Downs has established a new award, and Mr. Meso, who won multiple stakes races here as a 2-year-old and again at age 10, is being recognized as the first off-the-track Thoroughbred of the month. Mr. Meso earned nearly $500,000 from 68 starts and remains in the first stall in Matthew Clarke’s barn on the backside. The 11-year-old is now a pony in the afternoon.

“He is a wonderful and remarkable horse,” Clarke said. “He has a home with me for the rest of his life. Absolutely.”

◗ Ronald Kennelly of Somerville won the Suffolk Downs handicapping tournament Aug 3.

Three local horse players, who are NHC Tour members, earned berths in the 15th annual Daily Racing Form /NTRA National Handicapping Tournament to be held in Las Vegas in January. They are James Timinck of Raynham, Stephen Rocco of Saugus, and Burt Shapiro of Malden.