Critical Eye swept to the lead in the final strides to win Saturday's $250,000 Hempstead Handicap (gr. I) by a neck over Jostle at Belmont Park. The win marks the second career grade I victory for the New York-bred daughter of Dynaformer.
Beautiful Pleasure, the champion older mare of 1999, will make her first start of the year in Saturday's grade I Hempstead Handicap at Belmont Park where the 6-year-old mare will face seven rivals in the 1 1/16 mile contest, including stablemate Darling My Darling. Beautiful Pleasure races for John Oxley while Darling My Darling races for his wife, Debby Oxley, both are trained by John and Donna Ward.
In the classic film Roman Holiday, Audrey Hepburn portrays a modern day princess who both resists her stringent obligations and yearns for the pedestrian pleasures of everyday life. In an effort to personify the players atop New York's current group of stakes fillies and mares, and Apple of Kent who is poised to join them, you wouldn't be taking great liberty by invoking the image of Hepburn's demure but spirited character into their respective profiles.
De Bertie earned her second graded stakes win on the current Gulfstream Park meet, closing from last place to win Sunday's $200,000 Rampart Handicap (gr. II) by 2 1/2 lengths over favored Apple of Kent. In January at Gulfstream, the 4-year-old filly earned her first career stakes win in the Sabin Handicap (gr. III).
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