FROM ARAPAHOE PARK, AURORA, COLORADO
JULY 29, 2012
FOR MORE INFORMATION: JONATHAN HOROWITZ, (949) 246-7075, @JJHorowitz
DANCE TO THE STAR WINS MOUNT ELBERT; E F FIVE EQUALS TRACK RECORD
In a matchup of the last two winners of the Mount Elbert Stakes, Sunday's rendition of the 1 1/16-mile, $42,715 race at Arapahoe Park went to 2010 winner Dance to the Star over 2011 winner and Colorado-bred Horse of the Year Wally Van. In the process, Dance to the Star avenged his second-place finish to Wally Van in 2011 in the top race of the year for older Colorado-breds.
As Wally Van, The Latest Twist, and 2010 Colorado Horse of the Year Danzip vied for the early lead, jockey Luis Ramon Rodriguez settled Dance to the Star in fourth early in the field of seven. The 6-year-old homebred of owner Francis "Hecky" Heckendorf, Jr., and trainer Kenneth "Butch" Gleason, made a four-wide move to the lead around the far turn. Wally Van, the 3-5 favorite owned by Bill Vanlandingham and trained by Tyrone Gleason, re-rallied for jockey Michael Ziegler, but Dance to the Star, the 9-2 third choice, held on by a half length in a time of 1:44.75.
The wide move Dance to the Star made around the far turn was almost identical to the one he made when winning the 2010 Mount Elbert by 4 3/4 lengths, although Ziegler was aboard Dance to the Star in 2010 but succumbed to defeat on Sunday.
The Latest Twist, ridden by Adrian Ramos at 24-1, was third for the second year in a row for owner Foster Pokorny and trainer Uriel Delgado. The Latest Twist was also eighth in the race in 2010 and seventh in 2009. Danzip took fourth for jockey Carl Kutz and trainer Douglas Grinolds.
**E F Five equaled a 10-year-old Arapahoe Park track record at 5 furlongs in Sunday's eighth race, clocking 56.17 seconds in a 4 1/4-length allowance victory. Nycity set the original mark of 56 seconds flat (as timed to the nearest fifth of a second) on July 13, 2002, as a 2-year-old in a 13 1/4-length maiden win for owner and trainer Ed Hindman. Hindman's son Nate Newby also conditioned Nycity, and Newby is the current Director of Marketing at Santa Anita Park, the site of this year's Breeders' Cup.
**After 31 races exclusively in Quarter Horse sprints, 7-year-old A Splash of Hell stepped up in distance to finish second in the Izyk Stakes at 870 yards at Arapahoe Park on July 8. On Sunday, A Splash of Hell won the Leo Beaudash Stakes at 870 yards by 3 1/2 lengths for jockey Michael Iammarino, trainer Derek Couch and owner Kimberly Melton. Trainer Tomey Swan saddled the second through fifth finishers with Pa, I Should Say, Talking Jess and Callies Boy. A Splash of Hell, the 3-1 second choice, clocked 45.425 seconds. Eyesa Special Lady, the 6-5 favorite and winner of the Izyk, faded to last.
**Trainer "Butch" Gleason and jockey Rodriguez also won the other Thoroughbred stakes race on Sunday at Arapahoe Park with Miss Suzannah in the 1 1/16-mile, $40,633 Colorado Thoroughbred Breeders Association Oaks for 3-year-old Colorado-bred fillies. Having finished no better than fifth in her first four races, Miss Suzannah appreciated the step up in distance to two turns and won as the second-longest shot at 7-1 by 1 1/2 lengths over Sandhill Lady at 4-5 favorite Natalie E.