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Manistique Is Right at Home With Easy Victory in Vanity

Hollywood Park: Filly wins eighth race without loss in Southern California. General Challenge takes Affirmed, Lazy Lode victorious in Murray.

June 27, 1999|BOB MIESZERSKI | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The connections of Manistique probably wish the Breeders' Cup was held in Southern California rather than Gulfstream Park this year.

Manistique has won all eight of her races in Southern California, including Saturday's $400,000 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park. She lost her two races that weren't at Hollywood Park or Santa Anita by 17 lengths.

Manistique, the 1-2 Vanity favorite, tracked the pace set by 13-1 shot Yolo Lady, then took charge in the final furlong to win by 4 1/2 lengths in 1:48 for the 1 1/8 miles.

Owned by Marshall Naify's 505 Farms and trained by John Shirreffs, Manistique has won five races at Hollywood Park by 37 1/2 lengths. She also became the first filly or mare since Paseana in 1992 to win Santa Anita's Santa Margarita Handicap and Vanity in the same year.

"John brought her over here in absolutely fit condition," said jockey Chris McCarron, who rode Manistique for the first time after regular rider Gary Stevens went to England. "She's the kind of horse that gives you the feeling that they've got to be coming because she doesn't feel like she's going that fast. She just has such a huge stride, covers so much ground."

Gourmet Girl, the 5-2 second choice and winner of the Milady Breeders' Cup Handicap on May 31, finished last in the field of six. It was only the second time in 16 races that Gourmet Girl had been worse than third.

"She was in perfect position, but she just didn't kick at all," jockey Eddie Delahoussaye said.

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General Challenge won for the fifth time in seven starts, taking the $125,000 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park.

General Challenge, the Santa Anita Derby winner and 3-5 Affirmed favorite, beat 9-2 shot Desert Hero by two lengths in 1:40 4/5 for the 1 1/16 miles.

It was the first start for the gelded son of General Meeting since a much-troubled 11th in the Kentucky Derby.

"He had that bad luck in the [Kentucky] Derby, so what are you going to do except forget about it," trainer Bob Baffert said. "He's a very special horse and it's good to have him back like this."

General Challenge, owned by John and Betty Mabee's Golden Eagle Farms, had high weight of 124 pounds and was ridden by David Flores.

Desert Hero, who had finished 13th in the Kentucky Derby, was four clear of Crowning Storm, then came Mula Gula and 3-1 second choice Red Sky's.

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Lazy Lode, the 5-2 second choice, won the $71,150 Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park, covering the 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:01 2/5.

Corey Nakatani was aboard Lazy Lode, owned by Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corp. and trained by Richard Mandella.

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Reraise, the morning line favorite for today's $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Invitational Handicap, was scratched Saturday morning.

Reraise, the 1998 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner, suffered a strained tendon while galloping Friday morning, according to trainer Craig Dollase.

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Dreams Gallore, who had finished second to Silverbulletday in the Kentucky Oaks and Black Eyed Susan, easily won a tragedy-marred Mother Goose Handicap at Belmont Park.

Ridden by Robby Albarado for owner Gary Tanaka and trainer Steve Asmussen, Dreams Gallore beat Oh What A Windfall by seven lengths and completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48 3/5.

Minutes before the 3-year-old fillies were going to come on the track, Three Ring--a three-time graded stakes winner and one of two female horses to run in the Kentucky Derby this year--reared and fell over backward, hitting her head heavily. She fractured her skull and had to be euthanized.

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Chilukki, perhaps the top 2-year-old filly in the country, won for the third time in as many starts, dominating her rivals in the $100,000 Debutante at Churchill Downs.

Chilukki, owned by Stonerside Stable and trained by Bob Baffert, won without being asked for her best by jockey Willie Martinez in covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03 3/5. Miss Wineshine, a 16-1 shot also trained by Baffert, was second.

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