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HORSE RACING ROUNDUP

Desormeaux Makes the Best of It

October 30, 2005|Bob Mieszerski | Times Staff Writer

Without a Breeders' Cup mount, jockey Kent Desormeaux had to settle for his fourth win in the $100,000 Morvich Handicap on Saturday at Santa Anita.

Riding 2-1 favorite Geronimo, Desormeaux rallied from last to edge 5-2 choice King Robyn in the final strides to win the Grade III for owner Gary Barber and trainer John Sadler.

Desormeaux, who had failed to win with some other live mounts earlier in the day, won the Morvich for the first time since 1996 when he scored with Comininalittlehot. His previous victories in the downhill race were with Waterscape in 1991 and Western Approach (1993).

Fourth in the race a year ago behind Leroidesanimaux, De Valmont and Cayoke, Geronimo won for only the second time in 10 starts in 2005. It was his third win in 13 tries on the Santa Anita turf course. He ran the distance of about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:12.10.

King Robyn, who won the Morvich for trainer Jeff Mullins in 2003, held off Jungle Prince for second place and Courageous King was fourth.

A Chilean-bred who was claimed by his current connections for $80,000 on Feb. 27, Geronimo has won 11 of 36 and has $443,450.

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Jockey Garrett Gomez, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with Stevie Wonderboy on Saturday and is the runaway leader at Oak Tree, will stay at Belmont Park today to ride We All Love Aleyna for Sadler in the $150,000 Knickerbocker Handicap.

Another local rider, Corey Nakatani, has a mount in the Grade III at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Nakatani will be aboard Saint Stephen for trainer Christophe Clement.

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Alumni Hall continued his love affair with Keeneland, winning the $150,000 Fayette as the Lexington track wrapped up its fall meet.

Owned by Will Farish and James Elkins and trained by Neil Howard, the 6-year-old A.P. Indy horse outlasted 39-1 shot On Thin Ice by a head to win for the fourth time in five starts at Keeneland. Now nine for 19 overall, Alumni Hall, the 2-1 second choice, ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.37 under jockey Calvin Borel.

M B Sea, a 12-1 outsider, was third, two lengths behind On Thin Ice. Shaniko, the 2-1 favorite, finished last in a field of nine.

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