Great Intentions Fulfills First Flight Aspirations

(from Belmont Park report)
A relaxed Great Intentions settled just behind a speed duel and rallied for a three-length victory in the $150,000 First Flight Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs at Belmont Park Sunday.

It was the third consecutive victory and fourth in six career starts for the 3-year-old Cat Thief filly, who went off as the 3-1 second choice in the field of eight. Under jockey Edgar Prado, she raced just off favored Smokey Glacken and Umpateedle through the opening quarter mile of :23 1/5 and the half in :46 1/5. When those two folded, Great Intentions was there to pick up the pieces. She won in 1:23 4/5 on the fast track.

"In this race, she really relaxed well and came when he asked," said winning trainer Mike Hushion."We had nervousness trouble with her early. She wasn't settling great and we thought she'd only be a sprinter. After watching today, I think we've got another eighth of a mile coming. I think she'll be okay going a mile."

Hushion said the $150,000 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) at a mile on Nov. 25 would be a good spot for Great Intentions, who earned $90,000 Sunday for owner Barry K. Schwartz.

While doubling her career earnings to $184,380, Great Intentions paid $8.70, $5.40 and $3.30. The Kentucky-bred was a $65,000 Keeneland yearling buy in September 2003.

Habiboo, at 22-1, necked 2-1 favorite Smokey Glacken for second and returned $16.40 and $7 with Joe Bravo aboard. Smokey Glacken, who was ridden by John Velazquez, was $2.90 to show.

Areek, Lilah, Fifth Overture, Travelaor and Umpateedle trailed.

(Chart, Equibase)