Story to Tell, La Grange Win Juvenile Stakes

Story to Tell, La Grange Win Juvenile Stakes
Photo: Benoit Photography
Story to Tell wins the W.L. Proctor Memorial Stakes.

Story to Tell won for the second time in three starts, defeating favored Bad Read Sanchez in the $98,000 Willard L. Proctor Memorial Stakes July 13 at Los Alamitos Race Course, one of two stakes for 2-year-olds on closing day of the Summer Thoroughbred Festival.

Later in the afternoon, La Grange, second in her career debut June 8 at Arlington International Race Course, surprised 1-5 favorite Heart of Paradise in the $100,000 TVG Cinderella.

Apprentice jockey Drayden VanDyke wrapped up the riding title at the inaugural Summer Thoroughbred Festival with a pair of victories on the final program.

The Kentucky-born and Arkansas-raised VanDyke, who will turn 20 in September, finished with 12 victories, four more than runner-up Joe Talamo.

Owned by Cecil Peacock and trained by Dan Hendricks, the same combination that had much success nearly a decade ago with multiple stakes winner Brother Derek, Story to Tell prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:10.28 for six furlongs.

A son of Bluegrass Cat   and the Silver Deputy mare Haddie Be Good, Story to Tell was ridden by Joe Talamo and paid $5.20 and $2.40 in the four-horse field. A $200,000 Barrettts March purchase, he's earned $118,600.

Favored at 9-10 on the strength of a 10-length maiden win in his June 20 debut for trainer Doug O'Neill and Reddam Racing, Bad Read Sanchez returned $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering after the Proctor field was reduced by the scratches of the O'Neill pair of Wake Up Nick and Henry's Holiday.

Reserved off the pace set by Peradventure, Story to Tell rallied on the outside, gained the lead at the quarter pole, and won with something in reserve.

Joe Steiner, the rider of Peradventure, who wound up third, claimed foul against both Talamo and Mario Gutierrez, the rider of Bad Read Sanchez, for alleged interference, but it was dismissed by the stewards.

"He's a nice colt and he looks even better when he runs," said Hendricks. "It's special to win this race. Willard Proctor gave me my first job at the track. I started galloping horses for him at Hollywood Park in 1976.

"(Story to Tell) is nominated to the Del Mar Futurity (Sept. 3), but there's also the (grade II) Best Pal in three weeks (Aug. 3), so we'll debate that," Hendricks added.

The $300,000 Del Mar Futurity is Sept. 3.

La Grange was reserved off the pace in the Cinderella, then overtook 1-5 pick Heart of Paradise near mid-stretch and drew clear to win by 2 3/4 lengths as the 4-1 second choice.

Hall of Famer Kent Desormeaux rode the winner for brother Keith, who trains the daughter of Curlin   for Big Chief Racing. La Grange was purchased for $17,000 at the 2013 Keeneland September sale.

Out of the Awesome Again mare Jennie R., La Grange completed the six furlongs in 1:09.92 and paid $10.60, $2.80 and $2.10. She's earned $67,200.

"We thought she put in a good effort first time out and we thought she might like the dirt better than the Polytrack," said Julie Clark, Keith Desormeaux's assistant trainer. "She proved us right."

After an impressive debut win June 5 at Santa Anita, Heart of Paradise, who returned $2.10 and $2.10,  finished 3 3/4 lengths in front of the show horse, Slew's Charm ($2.40).

Abets Abet and Global Hart completed the order of finish. Shh She's Ours, the 5-2 second choice on the morning line, was scratched after flipping in the paddock.

Van Dyke posted the first riding title for an apprentice in Southern California since the late J.C. Gonzalez led at Fairplex Park in 1998.

"It means a lot,'' said VanDyke, who rode only seven of the eight days of the meet. He missed July 12 when he was at Arlington International Race Course.

"It's really cool to get the first riding title at Los Alamitos in its first Thoroughbred meet (since the last Orange County Fair season in 1991). It's pretty cool to go down in history.

"It was a long two meets tying together at Santa Anita, so it was kind of dragging along the last couple of weeks and I got a couple of suspensions, so it kind of ruined my momentum," Van Dyke added. "I got here, a new place, new horses, and it just took off.''

Peter Miller topped the trainer standings with three wins. He is three victories shy of 500 for his career.

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