One Colony, Fircroft Win Juvenile Stakes at Big A

With both 1 1/8-mile juvenile stakes races at Aqueduct taken off the turf because of rain, One Colony, in the Pilgrim Stakes, and Fircroft, in the Miss Grillo, were victories Sunday.

Longshot One Colony won the 24th running of the $75,000 Pilgrim Stakes for 2-year-olds in 1:51. Fircroft won the 23rd edition of the $75,000 Miss Grillo Stakes for 2-year-old fillies in 1:49 3/5.

One Colony Takes Pilgrim With Final Surge

One Colony caught tiring Celtic Memories in the final stride to win the Pilgrim Stakes as the longest shot on the board. One Colony, under Aaron Gryder, paid $40.40 to beat four horses in the field that was decimated by six scratches when the race was moved from the turf to the fast main track.

"I talked to Mark (Hennig) this morning and he decided to keep him in the race since it was a short field," said Harry Wyner, the assistant to the winning trainer. "There was enough pace for him."

Celtic Memories looked like he had the victory all locked up in midstretch, but he tired in the final furlong despite frantic urging by jockey Jorge Chavez.

"The race set up for us on paper," Gryder said. "If he handled the dirt, it looked like we'd have the best late kick."

One Colony is a Kentucky home-bred bay colt by Dehere, out of One Last Colony (Pleasant Colony) for owner Edward P. Evans. Evans has also bred 2002 Grade I winners Gygistar, Summer Colony and Raging Fever.

One Colony, who raced with blinkers for the first time, is now 2-0-1 from five starts with earnings of $76,170.

Blakelock, the 6-5 favorite, finished third under John Velazquez.

Sir Walter Rahy, Kick In, Awesome Cannonball, Hypnotist, Rythmic Motion and Kon Tiki were scratched earlier in the day.

Samyn Completes Weekend Stakes Double With Fircroft

Fircroft came from off the pace to win the Miss Grillo Stakes and give jockey Jean-Luc Samyn two stakes victories for the weekend. Samyn also won the First Flight (Gr. 2) with Shine Again on Saturday.

Fircroft paid $6.70 to win.

"She was very good today," Samyn said about Fircroft. "She got a little anxious down the backstretch so I let her run a little and she relaxed. After that she was fine. She got to looking around a bit once she took the lead, but that's a good sign. That means she's got something left in the tank."

Fircroft, a dark bay or brown juvenile filly by A.P. Indy, out of Pemaquid (Deputy Minister), earned $50,400 for owner-breeder G. Watts Humphrey, Jr. He is now 2-0-1 from four starts with career earnings of $99,400.

Rusty Arnold saddled Fircroft for a third-place finish in the Matron (Gr. 1) on Sept. 15 and an uncharacteristic sixth-place finish in the Frizette (gr. I) on Oct. 5.

"I'm not giving up yet with this filly," Arnold said. "Something happened in the Frizette. I don't know what it was, but she never fired. She beat horses today pretty easily that she didn't pass in the Frizette."

Marc's Rainbow, ridden Richard Migliore, set the fractions at :24 3/5, :48 4/5 and 1:12 4/5 over the fast track and finished second. One and Twenty, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, tired on the far turn and failed to threaten in the stretch; she finished third as the 3-2 favorite.

Arnold suggested that Fircroft would next run in the $200,000 Demoiselle (gr. II) on Nov. 30.

The field was reduced to seven by the scratches of Meadow Belle, Feijoada, Fortuitous, Storm Clipper, Comeback to Me, Burnt Bush, Tiva's Little Sis, Notmyfault and Miss Kate Rusby.

(Chart, Equibase)

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