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HORSE RACING ROUNDUP

Mott Gains Revenge as Geri Wins

September 21, 1997| From Associated Press

The inaugural $500,000 Woodbine Mile at Toronto was sweet redemption for trainer Bill Mott.

Geri, an American-bred 8-1 longshot handled by Mott, came on strong from the far outside Saturday for a 1 1/2-length victory on Woodbine Racetrack's turf course. The 5-year-old finished three lengths ahead of favorite Gentlemen, who was a disappointing fifth.

Mott was the upset victim in 1996 when Cigar had his 16-race winning streak halted by Dare And Go. Richard Mandella trained Dare And Go and also handled Gentlemen.

Geri started poorly and at one point was 10 lengths off the lead.

Geri was timed in 1:36 1/5 on a good course. Helmsman finished second and Canadian-bred Crown Attorney was third.

Gentlemen, suffering from a throat ulcer discovered after the race, faded badly and was nipped for fourth by SkyBound.

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Formal Gold, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, defeated rivals Skip Away and Will's Way in impressive fashion to win the $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.

Formal Gold, carrying 126 pounds, won by 5 1/2 lengths over Skip Away, with Will's Way another neck behind. It was 40 more lengths back to Pacific Fleet.

Formal Gold covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:47 2/5.

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Touch Gold's chances of winning an Eclipse award took a turn for the worse as the Belmont Stakes winner finished last in the $1-million Pegasus Handicap at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, which was won by Behrens.

Touch Gold, who had won four of five starts this year, never threatened in the four-horse field and finished more than 16 lengths behind the winner after being kept on the outside by jockey Chris McCarron.

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Barfighter won the $110,000 Barretts Juvenile for 2-year-old colts and geldings at Fairplex Park in Pomona after Jade Pagoda, which was first to the wire in the 6 1/2-furlong race, was disqualified for interference and placed fifth. Trained by R.L. Martin and ridden by J. Valdivia Jr., Barfighter finished ahead of Cat Doctor, with Grady finishing third in the field of nine. The winning time was 1:18 4/5.

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