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Free Passage will square off with
Woden when racing continues at
Santa Rosa Park, Arima, tomorrow
with the 35th round of the Arima
Race Club s season.
The Derick Mosca trained runners
are among eight 100-70 rated horses
declared to compete in the penul-
timate event of an eight-race card.
It is the feature event of the day and
could be one of the most compelling
staying events of the season.
Woden and Free Passage are the
highest rated horses in the field, but
Buffalo Soldier, also handled by
Mosca, Silverleo and Toro Rosso also
has to be considered.
It will be the first non-graded or
Stakes race that Free Passage has
been involved in since the end of
May. Last year s NGC CNG Trinidad
Derby Stakes (GR.IR) winner has not
only raced against the top class hors-
es in his last four starts he has more
than held his own.
Free Passage finished third in the
Diamond Stakes (GR.II) last time
out on Republic Day, September 24,
over a trip short of his best; 1,350
metres, after occupying the same
position three weeks earlier in the
Bernard Dulal-Whiteway Independ-
ence Cup (GR.I).
That 1,800 metres contest was
switched from the turf to the main
contest, which was the case when
the Jamaican bred four-year-old beat
the cream of the crop for the only
time in the Eric "Colt" Durant
Memorial on June 19. That $150,000
affair was over 1,750 metres, the
same distance as Saturday s race.
Woden has never raced against
the top class horses, but he has
proven beyond a shadow of doubt
that he is one of the best stayers in
After finishing fifth in his first
start in this country over 1,250
metres at the end of May, the Amer-
ican-bred three-year-old has raced
exclusively over Saturday s trip and
has not tasted defeat.
Woden s fourth and final victory
was by far his most impressive as
the son of Bernstein slammed a high
quality field of 90-60 rated horses
by five lengths in a very good time
of 1:50.4 on Republic Day.
Buffalo Soldier, who like Free Pas-
sage had held his own against the
top-class stayers three times recently,
was involved in this race and could
only finish third, however Merlin
Samlalsingh s American-bred four-
year-old is capable of turning the
tables on Woden as he will be four
kilos better off on this occasion.
Buffalo Soldier will also have a
significant weight advantage over
Free Passage as he will be six kilos
better off from their last meeting
when he gave the "creole" three kilos
and finished only 1¼ lengths behind
in the Bernard Dulal-Whiteway
Independence Cup on Independence
Day, August 31.
On the subject of weight, Silverleo
could be in the very best position.
The American-bred five-year-old
finished just half-length behind Buf-
falo Soldier when he was beaten by
Woden into fourth by six lengths on
Republic Day. Silverleo was receiving
2.5 kilos from the winner on that
occasion, but the John O Brien
owned and trained chestnut will be
8.5 kilos lighter this time.
The other horse to consider seri-
ously is Toro Rosso.
Making his first appearance since
throwing his jockey in the Cham-
pagne Stakes (GR.I) on Easter Mon-
day, April 1, the American-bred five-
year-old ran a very creditable sixth
in the Bernard Dulal-Whiteway
Independence Cup (GR.I), 6¼
lengths behind winner Galveston.
It was his first start in five months
and Toro Rosso, who finished only
a length behind Free Passage and
will be 4.5 kilos better off this time,
should be much better prepared for
The field also contains 2010 Derby
(GR.IR) runner-up Go For The Gold
as well as Officer Ike and Gabby s
Wonderboy, making his first appear-
ance in over 19 months.
Like Woden, Officer and Gabby s
Wonderboy are owned by Shivam
Maharaj. After winning the inaugural
Sugar Mike Stakes just a week earlier,
Indian Medicine will make a quick
return to action.
The three-year-old, bred and
trained by Harold Chadee, is unbeat-
en in sprints on the turf and will be
going after victory No. 6 when she
steps up in class to oppose ten 90-
60 rated horses over 1,100 metres
on the lawn.
Harry Could Dance, who is also
trained by Chadee for his son Dave,
and Key Chain are back for revenge
after placing second and third,
respectively, in last Saturday s
Also included in the field for the
1:10PM contest are Jozel, Wild Shuf-
fle, Away Johannesburg and One-
fortheroad, who placed third in the
Derby (GR.IR) and fourth in the
Easter Guineas (GR.IR) last year but
has never competed on the grass.
This will be the first of four HI-
5 betting races and since no one was
successful in this wager in the final
event of last Saturday s card, over
$31,700 will be carried over into this
Punters will also be attempting to
select the first five finishers in the
fourth, sixth and curtain events.
The fourth, involving 13 horses
rated 40 and lower over 1,500 metres
on the turf, is scheduled to be con-
tested at 2.26 pm and the day s activ-
ities is billed to conclude on the same
track at 5 pm with 13 West Indian-
bred three-year-old and over maid-
ens doing battle over 1,100 metres.
The only Hi-5 race on the main
track is the sixth, a 1,200 metres
contest involving ten 45 and lower
rated horses at 3.42 pm.
There will be two Pick 4s and more
than $13,000 has been carried over
into the first; races one through four.
The Soca 6 will begin at 1.46 pm
in the third race, a 1,750-metre con-
test involving seven 60-45 rated
horses, including Lady Angelica, the
third placed finisher in last year s
Gleneagle Stakes (GR.IIIRF) and Neal
& Massy Oaks Stakes (GR.IIRF).
The gates will open for the first
time for the afternoon at 12.30 pm
with an intriguing 1,300 metres con-
The field of six includes Central
Square, attempting to complete a
hat-trick of wins, Fire Light, who
finished eighth in the Derby (GR.IR),
Director Dream, the fourth-placed
finisher in last year s Midsummer
Classic (GR.I) in his first race since
last year s Derby (GR.IR) , and an
unraced American-bred juvenile
BELMONT---Dozens of the fastest New
York-breds will convene tomorrow for seven
stakes worth US$1.25 million on Empire
Showcase Day presented by the Fund, Bel-
mont Park s annual fall celebration of the
best of New York.
The centerpiece of the card, which offers
11 races, is the 37th running of the US$250,000
Hoping to avenge his defeat in last year s
edition is Saratoga Snacks, who will face seven
others, including the streaking Readthep-
rospectus, in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Other state-bred standouts on the day
include the undefeated filly sensation Cluster
of Stars, who heads the field for the
US$150,000 Iroquois, multiple graded stakes
winner Notacatbutallama, taking on 11 others
in the US$200,000 Mohawk on the turf, and
Grade 2 Sanford winner Wired Bryan, looking
to replicate his eye-catching 7 ¼-length debut
at Belmont in June in the US$150,000 Bertram
F. Bongard for two-year-olds.
Saratoga Snacks will be making his third
start of the year in the Empire Classic, in
which he finished second by 1 ¼ lengths to
Lunar Victory in 2012. The Tale of the Cat
colt returned to close out his 3-year-old cam-
paign with a front-running victory in the Alex
M. Robb in December at Aqueduct Racetrack,
and this year came off a five-month layoff to
earn a career-best 105 Beyer Speed Figure in
winning the Shy Groom on June 30, followed
a month later by a third-place finish as the
favorite in the John Morrissey at Saratoga
Sciacca also had the six-furlong Hudson
under consideration for Saratoga Snacks, but
in the end opted for the Classic, in which he
is the 5-2 second choice on the morning line.
"I was talking with Bill, and he asked me,
Is he training just as good, worse, better than
he was last year as a three-year-old heading
into the race? " said Sciacca. "I said, Bill, he s
probably training better. "
Saratoga Snacks will tote 122 pounds, includ-
ing jockey Joel Rosario, when he leaves from
post position 7.
"I like the post," said Sciacca. "He can just
sit right off of them and go at his own pace.
I hope it works out great."
Readtheprospectus, the 2-1 morning-line
favourite, has not set a foot wrong for trainer
Chad Brown since breaking his maiden over
a yielding turf course on Showcase Day last
year. He has since reeled off six more victories,
including the Commentator Handicap in June
and the Spite the Devil overnight stakes on
September 19, both at Belmont.
"He s put a nice streak together for us and
we hope he s got another one in him," said
Brown, who trains the Read the Footnotes
gelding for Klaravich Stables and William
Lawrence. "By the looks of it, he s training
well. I think he ll be fine at 1 1/8 miles, plus
he has the prep race [on September 19] under
In contrast to his earlier victories, which
were on or close to the pace, Readtheprospec-
tus displayed a new dimension in the Spite
the Devil, coming from sixth and last to take
the lead in deep stretch and win by a half-
"He can adjust to the pace very, very well,"
said Brown. "We ll just do more of the same
with him, telling the jockey to put the horse
wherever he is comfortable."
The high weight under 124 pounds,
Readtheprospectus drew post position 8 and
will be ridden by Junior Alvarado.
The race also drew 2013 Evan Shipman win-
ner Bigger is Bettor, most recently fifth in the
Spite the Devil; Spa City Fever, second in the
Spite the Devil; mid-Atlantic shipper War-
rioroftheRoses and Awesome Vision, winner
of the Saratoga Sunrise overnight stakes.
Free Passage, Woden in
Saratoga Snacks (Joel Rosario), looking to avenge last year's loss.
A Snacks looking good for Empire Classic
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