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Queally settles in at Golden Gate

Tom Queally with Frankel at Newmarket in 2010.

INPHO/ACTION IMAGES

By John Manley

Veteran jockey Tom Queally has moved his tack across the Atlantic and the Rocky Mountains, and has settled in at Golden Gate Fields for the winter. The 33-year-old reinsman, best known as Frankel’s pilot, lifted some eyebrows when he scored at 30-1 aboard Colored Crayon in the fourth race on Thanksgiving Day. The Dungarvan, Co. Waterford native followed that by riding Pretty Surprise to a $13.80 mutuel payoff in Saturday’s first race. In both races, one on turf, the other on the main track, Queally rallied from well back to prevail in a photo finish.

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“I’m very happy with how things have gone so far,” Queally said. “I’ve been looking into [moving] for the last two to three years. I’ve done my research and have watched as much U.S. racing as I have European. I’ve spoken to lots of people. One of the first things I did off the plane was walk the turf track here at Golden Gate. If it rides the way it walks, it will be a heck of a track.”

Queally has known success on these shores, having won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita on Midday.

GRAHAM’S PRIZE

Perhaps James Graham was one of those people Queally consulted with. The Dubliner had a red-letter week, highlighted by an eight-length victory on Blue Prize in the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs on Thanksgiving Day. Graham had the 4-year-old Argentine filly involved from the get-go, rounded the turn for home four lengths in front and widened from there. She returned $8.00 to win.

Graham then departed for New Orleans, where he will try to retain the glory he once knew there before chasing the California dream to no avail. He’s off to a good start, with five wins over the weekend. On Saturday, he scored on deep ralliers Shy Ruston ($6.00 win mutuel) in the first race and Warned ($15.00) in the seventh. He also tallied on the frontrunning Chip Leader ($6.20) in the fourth race. He hit twice more on Sunday, both for retired jockey Anthony Rini. First in was May B ($5.80) in the third race, followed by Katalust ($8.40) in the seventh.

Graham is tied for second place in the jockey standings in the early stages of this meet that stretches to late March. His five wins have him five behind early leader Miguel Mena.

COOLMORE GOES HOLLYWOOD

Mo Town is back. The 3-year-old colt that Coolmore bought into last fall in hopes of having a Triple Crown representative tailed off after his Remsen victory around this time last year. But he’s looking like a shooter in next year’s turf division for older males if his victory in Saturday’s Hollywood Derby at Del Mar is a true bill.

Mo Town, ridden by John Velazquez, stutter stepped out of the gate and found himself trailing early in this nine-furlong Grade 1 race on grass. Rounding for home, he still had work to do, but was up to the task, rallying to score by one length. He paid $6.20 as the second choice in the nine-horse lineup.

“I got to try something different with this horse today,” Velazquez said. “I’ve been trying to get him to settle. He broke slow, so I didn’t panic with him. I let him settle and run right along. Then, when I asked him, he responded. He responded very well.”

Mo Town, John Velazquez up, wins Hollywood Derby

BENOIT PHOTO

Trainer Anthony Dutrow didn’t indicate whether Mo Town will return to California for stakes races at Santa Anita or focus instead on the menu at Gulfstream Park.

ENTICING WIN IN LOUISVILLE

One thing Kiaran McLaughlin won’t have to wonder about as he prepares Godolphin Racing’s Enticed for next year’s Triple Crown series is whether the colt will handle the Churchill Downs surface. He did just fine in winning the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club there on Saturday. The homebred son of Medaglia d’Oro, a winner in his debut at Saratoga on Labor Day and then a good third in the Champagne at Belmont, had an eventful trip under the Twin Spires.

Enticed, ridden by Junior Alvarado, endured a bothersome escapade into and around the clubhouse turn in this two-turn race on the main track that saw one rival lose its rider. He came out of that okay, maintained a stalking position down the backside, fanned eight-wide into the lane and prevailed by a head in a ding-dong battle to the wire.

“This was a huge win,” said McLaughlin via text from the cruiseliner where he and family members were celebrating the birthday of his mother Judy, a Belfast native. “He is so well bred and to win a Grade 2 with him as a 2-year-old is very important.”

Enticed, with Junior-Alvarado up, outside prevails over

Tiz Mischief to win Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs

COADY PHOTOGRAPHY

“My horse had quite the learning experience,” said Alvarado. “It was a little rough coming into the first turn with a lot of horses in front of him, but he handled it well. Turning for home, he shied a little bit when a horse came out, but dug in. He got a little lost once he got in front but dug in and finished well.”

Enticed is expected to prepare for next year’s Derby in Florida.

Godolphin Racing’s Moiety hadn’t finished worse than second in eight career starts before she found the waters too deep in the Grade 2 Chilukki at Churchill Downs earlier this month. The Eoin Harty-trained 4-year-old filly atoned for that with a decisive score in the Mahoning Distaff Stakes at Mahoning Valley last Monday. She rallied under Jose Valdivia, Jr. to get up by just over a length in this nongraded sprint stakes with a $75,000 purse. She paid $10.00 to win. Moiety now has a 10-4-5-0 career box.

Rare is the horse that wins a 10-furlong race on the cutback, but that’s the path Scuba took to get to the winner’s circle in the Grade 3 Hawthorne Gold Cup at Hawthorne on Saturday. The Brendan Walsh trainee had been specializing in marathon distances, but was winless in four tries this year. He returned to the winner’s circle here after working out a stalking trip under Alonso Quinonez that saw him score by one-half length as the second choice. He paid $6.20 to win.

Returning to Del Mar, Irish-breds ran 1-2 in the Grade 1 Matriarch there on Sunday. Martin Schwartz’s Off Limits, a 5-year-old mare, rallied from last under Joel Rosario to run down Hawksmoor and take this turf feature by a length. She paid $11.20 to win and keyed a $139.00 exacta with the 12-1 Hawksmoor. Off Limits was winless in five starts last year for Chad Brown after coming over here from David Wachman’s yard. But Brown figured her out in 2017 and she’s now won five of six races this year, her lone defeat a close second in a listed stakes race at Belmont Park.

When Super Chill and jockey Juan Crawford rounded for home with the lead in Woodbine’s fifth race on Friday, trainer Saul McHugh looked as if he might get his first win of 2017. But cheap maiden claimers can’t be counted on until they cross the wire in front and Super Chill, a 106-1 shot, couldn’t hold off a rival that got the better of her by almost a length. Still, for those who played the McHugh horse across the board there were mutuel rewards of $54.90 and $18.40. The Strabane, Co. Tyrone transplant has two weeks left in Ontario to break through.

 

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