Aqueduct Racing Continued

One of the most familiar tales in racing these days is that of horses being turned down for sale by veterinarians, then either immediately winning a big race or eventually becoming major stakes winners. Such was the case with Windsor Castle, who stormed from last place to win the grade II Remsen Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths on Nov. 25, a week after his sale fell through on the advice of veterinarians.

Frank Alexander, who owns and trains Windsor Castle, said the sale agreement already had been signed when veterinarians found a small chip in the colt's ankle. Alexander's vets had told him after he bought the colt at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's 2-year-olds in training sale in March for $45,000 that the chip had likely been there for about a year and was best just left alone. Although Windsor Castle had never taken a lame step or even had a filling in the leg, the deal was scrapped.

"They were afraid (the chip) would have to come out at some point," Alexander said. "Actually, I'm kind of glad. I really wanted to keep the horse, but I was made an offer I couldn't refuse. I only keep a couple of horses for myself, and when someone in my position gets that kind of offer, you can't turn it down. But it all worked out well. I'm up over $200,000 and I just won my first stakes race of the year."

Windsor Castle, a son of Lord Carson, certainly wasn't lacking credentials going into the Remsen, having won two races at Saratoga, then finishing second in the grade III Cowdin and Nashua Stakes. Sent off at 7-1 under Robbie Davis, Windsor Castle had one horse beaten nearing the quarter pole, then poured it on through the stretch to blow by the pace-setting Ommadon, who had beaten him in the Nashua. Buckle Down Ben, winner of the Laurel Futurity (gr. III), rallied to get up for third. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.92.

Windsor Castle now heads to Florida, where Alexander will still be entertaining bids for the colt. "I always thought from his pedigree he was more of a sprinter type," Alexander said. "I was looking for a horse who could run early, with the intention of selling him. But even though he's not bred for distance, he's such a kind horse with a great disposition, and I believe that's what allows him to run long. So, we'll head to Gulfstream and I'll give him a little break, then point him for races like the Fountain of Youth (gr. I)...if I still have him."


For jockey Richard Migliore, it was all in a day's work. He arrived at Kennedy Airport at 6 a.m. after a 16-hour trip from Saudi Arabia, went straight to Belmont Park to work out Wheelaway at 8:30, then headed up the Belt Parkway to Aqueduct. Several hours later, he hopped aboard Joseph Graffeo's Two Item Limit in the $200,000 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) and blew the field away, winning by seven lengths.

The Illinois-bred daughter of Twining, trained by Stephen DiMauro, is now two-for-two under Migliore, having won the grade III Tempted Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths on Nov. 5. Sweep Dreams, coming off a 13-length maiden score, just got up for second, a neck in front of the $1-million yearling purchase Kingsland, trained by Todd Pletcher. The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:52.25, with the winner paying $7.

"She's a real well-balanced filly who has a lot of little moves in her that can get a rider out of trouble easily," Migliore said. "It's really hard to ride a horse like her badly. When a hole opened turning for home and I asked her, she cut out. But when she got the lead, she kind of picked her head up like she was going to loaf, so I got after her. In hindsight, I wish I wouldn't have, but no sense letting her get any bad habits. She's going on vacation anyway, so I let her finish."


Reciclada, a 5-year-old Chilean-bred mare, also known as Richard Mandella East, continued her scouting mission, winning the $150,000 Delta Air Lines Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) on Nov. 24 for Diamond A Racing Stable. In August, Reciclada, traveling with Dixie Union, had captured the Eatontown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth and a seven-furlong allowance race at Saratoga on dirt. After returning home to Santa Anita, she headed back east again, just getting nipped by Chilukki by a head in the Churchill Downs Distaff Handicap (gr. II).

Mandella is looking to start an operation in the East, and Reciclada is paving the way for that invasion. In the Top Flight, she battled near the lead all the way, then drew clear to defeat Country Hideaway by 1 1/4 lengths in a sharp 1:35.54 for the mile. Gazelle Handicap (gr. I) winner Critical Eye finished third.

Seymour Cohn's Kashatreya, who had upset Artax in last year's True North Handicap (gr. II), scored another upset on Nov. 23, winning the Fall Highweight Handicap (gr. II) at 8-1 for trainer John Hertler. The son of Daring Groom defeated Exciting Story by three-quarters of a length in 1:11.03 for the six furlongs under Octavio Vergara. Oro de Mexico finished third.