The win is the first for the 3-year-old Nick Zito trainee since he won the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park last October. Since then, the son of A.P. Indy bucked his shins while finishing last in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and finished third in a February allowance race at Gulfstream Park won by Hero's Tribute. A P Valentine earned $12,000 for the win, his third in sixth starts. (Chart, Equibase)
Ol Memorial Stable and Michael Tabor's A P Valentine closed from eight lengths back after a half-mile run in :45.79 to earn a 3 3/4-length win in an optional claiming race for 3-year-olds and upwards Saturday at Hialeah Park. Ridden by Eibar Coa, the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) winner completed the 1 1/16 miles in track-record time of 1:40.39. Six Fifteen was second, followed by El Ballezano and Alkarnak. Early pacesetter Popcorn Crystal did not finish.