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Victory Is in the Genes for Ten Most Wanted

Six years after horse's father won the Travers Stakes, Dollase-trained son beats depleted field in the same race before a record crowd.

August 24, 2003|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

No one could blame trainer Wally Dollase if he was already looking forward to the 2009 Travers Stakes.

Six years after Dollase won the race for the first time with Deputy Commander, Ten Most Wanted, one of Deputy Commander's sons, emulated dad on Saturday before a record Travers day crowd of 66,122 at Saratoga.

Taking full advantage of a dream trip behind a contested pace and the absence of Empire Maker and Funny Cide, the 5-2 third choice, in his first race with blinkers since Feb. 7, beat 2-1 favorite Peace Rules and four other horses.

This was the third win in nine starts for Ten Most Wanted, who is owned by J. Paul Reddam, James Chisholm and Michael Jarvis, but he still has some growing up to do.

The Illinois Derby winner, who made no impact in the stretch when he finished second to During in the Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park, was again a bit hesitant once he took the lead under jockey Pat Day from a spent Peace Rules, who battled through fast splits with Strong Hope.

Although Ten Most Wanted eventually came away to win by 4 1/2 lengths, the final quarter of a mile took about 27 seconds to cover. The clocking for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:02.14.

In giving Day his fourth win in the race, Ten Most Wanted also helped Dollase make some history. Dollase became the first trainer since 1950 to win the Travers with a father and son. Winbert Mulholland won with Eight Thirty in 1939 and with Lights Out in 1950.

"He's still very immature," Dollase said of Ten Most Wanted. "He still hasn't shown all of his ability.

"He's an awesome looking horse and looks so much like his sire. Both got it together mentally at this time of year. He put it all together."

Peace Rules, who finished 10 lengths clear of third-place Strong Hope, battled through the second-fastest six furlong fraction (1:09 4/5) in Travers history.

Strong Hope, who had a five-race win streak come to an end, was followed across the wire by Wild And Wicked, Congrats and 5-2 second choice Sky Mesa, who was compromised somewhat by a slow start.

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The runner-up finish in the Travers was the best Bobby Frankel, the country's leading trainer, was able to do in any of the four graded stakes at Saratoga.

In the $200,000 Ballston Spa Breeders' Cup Handicap, Frankel's Sea Of Showers, who had won all three of her previous U.S. races, finished last as the 13-10 favorite, then War Zone, the 7-2 second choice, was ninth in the $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap, won by 5-2 favorite Trademark.

Frankel's other stakes starter, Ghostzapper, finished rapidly to earn third at 6-1 in the $200,000 King's Bishop won by 7-1 shot Valid Video.

Stylish, an 8-1 longshot trained by Bill Mott and ridden by John Velasquez, won the Ballston Spa, beating 5-1 shot Snow Dance by a half-length in 1:41.03 for the 1 1/16 miles on turf.

The day also did not go very well for jockey Jerry Bailey. He rode both Peace Rules and Sea Of Showers, then was eighth in the King's Bishop with favored Zavata and sixth in the Fourstardave with 5-1 shot Patrol.

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In her fourth attempt, Secret Liaison, at 7-2 odds, became a graded stakes winner when she went wire-to-wire in the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar.

Ridden by Corey Nakatani for the Desperado Stables and trainer Ted H. West, the 5-year-old Housebuster mare completed the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.53. Lacie Girl, at 6-1 odds, was second and Spring Meadow was third in the Grade III.

Secret Liaison had finished eighth in the 2001 Test, second in the 2002 A Gleam Handicap, a head behind winner Irguns Angel, and sixth in the Las Flores Handicap on Feb. 22 at Santa Anita in her previous three tries in graded stakes.

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Tenpins, the even-money favorite, beat 9-1 longshot Aeneas by a length to win the $189,000 Philip H. Iselin Breeders' Cup Handicap at Monmouth Park. ... King Leatherbury became the third trainer with 6,000 winners when Cherokee Sunrise won the seventh race at Timonium Race Course in Timonium, Md.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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