04/22/2003 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Alison's Winner's two-length victory in the Angenora Stakes last Saturday was the result of the patience and perseverance of her trainer, Rodrigo Madrigal Sr.

Alison's Winner, a 6-year-old, was making her first start in a stakes race, an accomplishment in itself since she was never expected to make it to the races in the first place. When Alison's Winner's owner-breeders, Frank Regalbuto and John Quagliata, sent her to Kentucky as a yearling to be broken, it was learned that she was born with a deteriorating condition in her stifles, and several veterinarians advised that she should be taken out of training and become a broodmare.

Madrigal was not willing to give up on her and had X-rays sent to his local veterinarian Dr. Ronald Genovese, who suggested that surgery might correct the situation. Madrigal sent Alison's Winner to the Ohio State veterinary clinic where arthroscopic surgery was performed and she was turned out for a year.

Alison's Winner, a daughter of Pine Bluff, is a large, big-boned mare, and when Madrigal decided it was time to put her in training he had to move very slowly with her training schedule. It took 11 months to get her ready to run, and when she finally started as a 4-year-old she finished second. Since that time she has made 15 starts and has a 6-3-2 record with earnings of $103,032.

In the Angenora, Alison's Winner took the measure of the best Ohio-bred distaff runners in training, including runner-up Ashwood C C, who is also trained by Madrigal and has been voted Ohio-bred horse of the year the past two years.

"I had confidence in both of them," Madrigal said. "Ashwood likes to go longer. The fractions [21.86, 44.88, and 57.58, with six furlongs completed in 1:10.90] were too fast for her."