Trainer Harvey Vanier, a mainstay at Illinois and Kentucky tracks for more than 60 years, died Dec. 1 in Versailles, Ky., at age 89.
Returning to the site of his Iroquois (gr. III) victory nearly a year ago, Straight Line edged past the pacesetting favorite Vicarage near the eighth pole for an upset victory in the $112,200 Ack Ack Handicap (gr. III) on opening day of the Churchill Downs fall meeting Sunday.
Iroquois Stakes (gr. III) winner Straight Line suffered a mild shin bruise during Saturday's Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park and the Boundary colt will now miss valuable training time if he hopes to get back on the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trails.
Grade III winner Straight Line turned in a strong workout Monday as trainer Harvey Vanier prepares him for the seven-furlong Swale Stakes (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park March 5.
Iroquois (gr. III) winner Straight Line has yet to return home from Lexington's Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Clinic, but veteran trainer Harvey Vanier and family are encouraged by the latest news on the promising 2-year-old colt.
Straight Line, ridden by Brice Blanc, took the lead on the turn and pulled away from his 2-year-old rivals to easily win the $109,600 Iroquois (gr. III) at one mile at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Unreal Zeal, who appears headed for his third consecutive leading sire title in Illinois, will stand in 2004 at Harvey and Nancy Vanier's Fairberry Farm near Waterloo.
Arthur B. Hancock III's Owsley, a multiple graded stakes winning mare, invades from New York as the 120-pound high weight for Saturday's $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
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