Virginia-bred horses collected a pair of victories at both Penn National and Fair Grounds in the final days of March, and a horse that was on last year’s Derby trail got his third straight win of 2017.
Hold Me Black and Louise’s Legacy both connected in six furlong sprints at Fair Grounds March 23rd. The former broke his maiden in a dominant gate to wire effort while the latter wired the field in a fillies/mares claiming race in which she was claimed for $7500.
Bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, Hold Me Black beat a field of six other by 8 1/4 lengths in earning his first win in nine starts. The 3 year old Hold Me Back colt crossed in 1:09.17 and was in for a $50,000 claiming tag. His portfolio includes four runner up finishes, one of which was in last fall’s Jamestown Stakes, and a third. Hold Me Black is out of the Not For Love mare, Stylish Affair.
Louise’s Legacy won her second straight at Fair Grounds, and the 6 year old daughter of Medalist pushed her ’17 bankroll over the $20,000 mark. She was sent off as the heavy 1-2 betting choice in a field of nine, and lived up to her billing. She crossed 1 1/2 lengths in front and stopped the timer in 1:11.20. Louise’s Legacy, who was bred by Louise McLean, was claimed lout of the race by Steve Asmussen, who will also serve as new trainer.
Super Bird and Free Union each won their first of the year in $12,400 claiming races at the one mile, 70 yard distance. The former was making his 14th straight start at Penn National and ended up winning by three lengths over Great Lite. The 4 year old gelding was bred by Morgan’s Ford Farm and is by Birdstone out of Thor’s Daughter by Tiznow. Super Bird was claimed for $5,000 by the Outta Control Racing Stables. Robert Lee, owner heading into the race, will still collect a 25% bonus courtesy of the VTA/HBPA Mid-Atlantic owners bonus incentive program.
Free Union had as tougher time of it against 8 others, but was still one half length the best at the wire. The 4 year old Fierce Wind gelding made a three wide coming out of the turn and crossed in 1:45.86. Bred by Susan Minor, the victor picked up his third career win and has now bankrolled $53,746. He is out of the Buddha mare, Big Bad Buddha.
After struggling in the latter part of the ’16 Derby trail, American Dubai continued to be dominant in 2017, gaining his third straight win in allowance company at Sunland. The 4 year old E Dubai colt, bred by Mrs. C. Oliver Iselin, went gate to wire as an even money choice and won by 4 3/4 lengths. Out of the Bates Motel mare, Smash Review, American Dubai has three wins and a runner up this year all at Sunland. Prior to the Sunland streak, he had not raced since an 8th place finish in the Grade 3 Pat Day Stakes last spring.
Finishing out the week, Yes I Win got his picture taken for the third time in the last five races, all in Hawthorne claiming races. The 7 year old Yes It’s True gelding entered the top of the stretch trailing by four lengths, but made a five wide move and finished a head in front. Bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, yes I Win also earned wins there on December 16th and 30th.