Papua Wins Hollie Hughes at Rainy Aqueduct

(from track report)
Papua passed Conman Cunningham and Impeachthepro in the stretch to win the $80,725 Hollie Hughes Stakes on a soggy Sunday at drenched Aqueduct.

"He loves running at horses," said winning rider Richard Migliore, who won three races on Sunday.

Papua won his fourth consecutive race and first stakes race for owner Barry K. Schwartz. The 4-year-old colt by Louis Quatorze finished the 6-furlong race for statebred older horses in 1:10 3/5 over the sloppy track. He is now 7-2-1 from 15 starts with earnings of $240,560.

"It took him a while to come around, but he's done everything right lately," said winning trainer Mike Hushion. "We always liked him. He was one of our best 2-year-olds."

Added Migliore: "He's really come to hand in the last four or five months. His manners are much better and he really enjoys running."

Migliore kept Papua on the backstretch rail and off the pace - :23 4/5 and :46 4/5 - set by Conman Cunningham. At the top of the turn, he angled out into the middle of the track to pass third-place Conman Cunningham and second-place Impeachthepro. Papua, the favorite, won by three-quarters of a length and paid $3.70, $2.40 and $2.10.

With stakes winners Tom's Thunder and Say Florida Sandy scratched earlier, leaving the much-troubled Hollie Hughes with a five-horse field. The race was originally scheduled to be run on Feb. 16, but bad weather twice postponed it:

Impeachthepro paid $3.30 and $2.40 and Conman Cunningham returned $5.30.

(Chart, Equibase)