Valenzuela Ends Stakes Drought in Morvich
Quick Enough lived up to his name in the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) Oct. 11 as he gave jockey Patrick Valenzuela his first Oak Tree stakes win in nearly four years with a 1 1/2-length score in the six-furlong turf event (VIDEO).
In winning for the second time in three tries over the Hollywood Park turf course, Quick Enough tracked the pace set by longshot Lt. Hopeful, took the lead with a little less than an eighth of a mile to run, and held off Dilemma’s late rally.
Before the Morvich, the last Oak Tree stakes win for Valenzuela had been with Romance Is Diane in the California Cup Juvenile Fillies Oct. 28, 2006. His last stakes success at Hollywood Park was aboard Curiously Sweet in the Cat’s Cradle Handicap Dec. 21, 2007.
“I knew the leader had a lot of speed, but I thought he’d come back to me,” Valenzuela said. “He lasted a little longer than I thought. Turning for home, I knew I had the leader, I just didn’t know who was going to come running from behind. When I went to throw a cross, he picked it up and when I went to hit him left handed he really picked it up and started to draw away. Very nice.’’
Quick Enough (High Brite--Donna B. Quick, by Moscow Ballet) finished in 1:08.42 to earn his seventh win in 14 starts.
Quick Enough, who is owned by Michael Bello, Russ Sarno, and Pablo Suarez, was claimed on their behalf by trainer Doug O’Neill for $40,000 at Del Mar in August. The 6-year-old gelding could be headed to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs Nov. 6. He earned an automatic berth into the race, but would have to be supplemented by his owners.
"Well, we're in (the Breeders' Cup). Now all we need is for one of these (owners) to write a big check. Other than that, it's a strong possiblity he's going to go," O'Neill said.
"He's such a cool horse. He's very game and brings it every time. What can you say, Patrick rode him great and he beat a nice field. This was not an easy field. And he did it the right way. "
Quick Enough paid $7.60, $4, and $2.80. Dilemma, a 20-1 outsider who finished a neck in front of 8-5 favorite Scenic Blast, returned $14 and $6. Scenic Blast paid $2.60 to show.
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