Political Attack Impresses in Tropical Turf Handicap
Updated: Sunday, December 7, 2003 6:41 PM
Posted: Saturday, December 6, 2003 6:59 PM
Edited from track reports
Political Attack, winning the Canadian Turf Handicap earlier this year.
Erdenheim Farm's Political Attack, a 4-year-old gelding trained by Michael Matz, turned in an impressive performance at Calder on Saturday to win the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) by 1 1/2 lengths over Millennium Dragon. Sforza was a nose behind in third.
Political Attack has shown a fondness for the Calder turf course, having won the Mecke Stakes here as a 2-year-old and also turning in a fourth place finish in last year's Pete Axthelm Handicap, going seven and a half furlongs. He also won the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III) on New Year's Day last year on the main track.
Jockey Rene Douglas guided Political Attack around the course in third place, sitting off the pace set by Last Stand and Gary Boulanger. He made his move on the turn for home and put in a strong run down the lane to finish in a good time of 1:45 4/5.
Sent off at odds of 6-to-1, Political Attack paid $15.60 to win. Millennium Dragon returned $7.20 to place, while Sforza, a longshot at 30-to-1, paid $12.80 for the show.
"He's had some excuses in a couple of his races, particularly the Makers Mark when he went to his knees at the start," Matz said. "Soon after that he grabbed a quarter real bad and we missed some time. Once again in the race at Belmont (Belmont Breeders' Cup), he got off to a bad start. He‚s very honest and it helps that he seems to have learned how to race. This is about as far as he probably wants to go, so that will be it until something at Gulfstream."
Political Attack was purchased privately by Erdenheim Farm owner F. Eugene Dixon after winning the Mecke Stakes for owner-breeder Brereton C. Jones and trainer John Hennig as a 2-year-old. The Tropical Turf marked the seventh win in 21 starts for the 4-year-old son of Hawk Attack -- Cope's Light, by Copelan.
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