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Bird Town Wins Close Acorn Stakes

June 07, 2003|Bill Christine

ELMONT, N.Y. — Discussing today's Belmont Stakes with reporters Friday morning, trainer Nick Zito said that he had to go back to work, then added, "See you in the winner's circle this afternoon."

Zito was a man of his word. Several hours later, he saddled Bird Town, a 5-2 shot owned by Marylou Whitney and ridden by Edgar Prado, for a narrow win in the $250,000 Acorn Stakes, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. This was Bird Town's first start since her victory in the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs the day before the Kentucky Derby.

Lady Tak, beaten by a nose, just missed catching Bird Town in the final jump. Final Round was third and Storm Flag Flying, last year's juvenile filly champion, was sixth in the seven-horse field.

"When the other horses started gathering around her, she didn't want to be there," said John Velazquez, who rode Storm Flag Flying.

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In a four-horse race at Belmont, Chapel Royal beat favored Hasslefree by 5 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 Flash Stakes.... Will Farish, the Kentucky breeder who's the U.S. ambassador to England, saw his 3-year-old filly, Casual Look, win the $582,412 Epsom Oaks. Yesterday, the favorite, lacked racing room in the stretch and finished second, beaten by a neck.

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