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HORSE RACING

Quero Quero Continues Climb

June 08, 2003|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

Less than a month removed from her maiden win, Quero Quero became a graded stakes winner late Saturday afternoon.

A $55,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland, the 3-year-old Royal Academy filly outfinished 9-5 favorite Atlantic Ocean, who was bought for $1.9 million earlier this year, by a neck to win the $215,950 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap, a Grade II, at Hollywood Park.

Trained by Paulo Lobo, who had the 3-year-old filly champion of 2002 in Farda Amiga, for Old Friends, Inc., Quero Quero, a 10-1 shot, completed the 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49.34 under jockey Tyler Baze.

"She's a nice filly," said Lobo. "I was a little concerned about the distance, but she handled it very well. She's been improving a lot since [finishing third in the California Oaks on March 15 at Golden Gate Fields]. Tyler rode a very, very smart race."

Atlantic Ocean, who had won her only other start on the turf in the Miesque Stakes here last fall, finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Sharpbill, the longest shot in the field of 10 at 25-1. Shapes And Shadows, who set the extremely slow pace (24.89, 49.88 and 1:14.19 for six furlongs) faded to fourth. Star Vega, the 3-1 second choice, finished ninth, ahead of only entrymate Lady's Mantle.

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Taking advantage of a rapid early pace, Madame Pietra, a 6-1 shot, rallied past the previously unbeaten Bear Fan to win the $106,800 Desert Stormer Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Owned by Carl Grether and trained by Howard Zucker, the 6-year-old Roy mare completed the six furlongs in 1:09.71 under jockey Patrick Valenzuela. In winning for the seventh time in 16 starts and her fourth in a row, she beat Bear Fan, the 3-1 third choice, by three-quarters of a length.

A winner of her first four starts for co-owner and trainer Wesley Ward, Bear Fan finished three lengths ahead of Jetinto Houston, the 2-1 favorite, then came Wild Tickle, Palmarola and Cee's Elegance.

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Not long after Empire Maker gave trainer Bobby Frankel his first win in a Triple Crown event in the Belmont Stakes, Frankel had two horses win the same race at Hollywood Park.

Golden Rahy and Continuously, who was making his U.S. debut, finished on even terms in the fifth, a $51,000 allowance at 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Both 4-year-olds were 5-1.

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Providing more evidence that turf is his preferred surface, Senor Swinger, the 7-10 favorite, rolled to a 5 1/2-length win over six other 3-year-olds in the $220,600 Jefferson Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by Bob Baffert, the gray son of El Prado won for the second time in as many starts on the grass. Ridden by Robby Albarado, he completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:47.54.

This was the fourth win in seven starts for Senor Swinger, who was purchased privately by the Lewises before his first turf victory in the American Turf on May 2 at Churchill Downs. Three weeks before the Jefferson Cup, Senor Swinger had finished fifth in the Preakness.

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Helped immensely when favored Presidio Heights was off slowly, El Dorado Shooter, the 2-1 third choice, went wire-to-wire in the $142,500 Bay Meadows' Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap.

Ridden by Chad Schvaneveldt for owner Barbara DeLima and trainer Cliff Delima, the 6-year-old Man From Eldorado gelding won by nearly five lengths over 2-1 second choice Halo Cat.

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