Hoh Buzzard Feasts in Mrs. Revere

(from Churchill Downs report)
British import Hoh Buzzard, ridden by California-based Ryan Foglesonger, helped set the early pace and held off a late charge from Aud for a neck victory in Saturday's $175,650 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the turf at Churchill Downs.

Making her first start for trainer Ben D.A. Cecil, the Irish-bred daughter of Alhaarth had finished fourth to Aud in her American debut in the Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park in her previous start. She covered the 1 1/16 miles on "yielding" turf in 1:45.01 and paid $16.80, $7.80 and $5.80.

Aud, with Brian Peck aboard, rallied from 10th on the backstretch to fall just short of catching the winner, returning $7.00 and $6.20. Gamble to Victory, a 65-1 outsider with Rafael Bejarano up, finished two lengths back in third and paid $19.80. Casual Look, the 3/2 favorite with Pat Day in the saddle, failed to challenge and finished fifth.

The Mrs. Revere marked Fogelsonger's first ride aboard Hoh Buzzard and his debut at Churchill Downs.

"She's the type that is real tough to catch when you leave her alone," said Fogelsonger. "She was out there nice and relaxed, and when I broke through at about the quarter pole and went on with her, she just dug in harder every time they came to her. "

Hoh Buzzard, who is owned by Gary Tanaka, notched her fourth stakes victory and earned $108.903 to increase her lifetime bankroll to $218,839. The victory improved her career record to 5-1-2 in 12 starts.

"This filly will go on any kind of going and once she gets in front, she's very hard to get by," said Cecil. "She's a real fighter."

Cecil won his second stakes at Churchill Downs. The other victory came with Sandtrap's victory in the 1997 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint (now the Aegon Turf Sprint).

Hoh Buzzard and Keiai Sakura battled for the early pace through fractions of :23.67 for the quarter-mile and :47.87 for the half. As the field approached the top of the stretch, Hoh Buzzard took sole possession of the lead and turned back a challenge from her inside from Ocean Drive before she weathered the final rally by Aud.

"Coming down the lane, to be honest, I didn't know where the hell anybody was at," said Fogelsonger. "I've never ridden this course and I was just thinking, 'Where's the wire? Where's the wire? Please tell me we've passed it already because I'm still in front.' I felt him (Peck on Aud) coming up on my inside and she makes you look that much better because she feels them coming, too and she just digs in."

Gamble to Victory was fourth, followed by Tiva's Little Sis, Casual Look, Ocean Drive, Keiai Sakura, Film Maker, Hail Hillary, Shaconage, Petionville Indeed and Pattiano.

Day couldn't account for the poor showing by Casual Look.

"They came off the corner and she was a little slow changing leads, but even after she did and I really put her to the task we just didn't get any punch," he said. "She failed to respond to energetic handling. I can't really find any excuse for her. She galloped out strong, seemed to pull up fine and she came back good. She just did not put anything into the race whatsoever."

(Chart, Equibase)