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Winter Memories still enjoys her stops at Saratoga in the summer

Posted: July 31, 2012 8:48 a.m.
Updated: August 1, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Summer has never been too bad a time for Winter Memories, especially in Saratoga.
The 4-year-old filly, which received her start in Camden at Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables, came roaring off the second turn and rolled to a 1 ½ length win in Saturday’s $600,000 Diana Stakes (Gr. I) at Saratoga.
Trained by Jim Toner, who gave Javier Castellano a leg up, Winter Memories got the 1 1/8-mile trip on the turf in a time of 1:48.50.
Dream Peace held on for second while Zagora was third. Tapitsfly, who led for the better part of the first mile, came in fourth.
The gray/roan daughter of El Prado went off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of six older fillies and mares and won for the third time in four starts on the grass at The Spa. The victory was her eighth in 12 career starts in which Winter Memories has a pair of seconds. The $360,000 payday raised her purse winnings into seven figures as she has now brought in $1,268,100 to the Phillips Racing Partnership. Of her eight wins, two have come in Grade I races while she has won three each in Grades II and III events.
The win came after Winter Memories finished second behind Tapitsfly in the $500,000 Longines Just a Game Stakes at Belmont Park in her previous start on June 9.
Fiddler on the track: Fiddler’s Patriot, a 6-year-old gelding which got its start at Donna Freyer’s Custom Care Equine in Camden, added another stakes win to the resume by taking the $100,000 Willard Straight Stakes at Saratoga on July 21. The grandson of Triple Crown winner Affirmed scored a stakes win at Pimlico last May, winning the $100,000 Jim McKay Stakes, a five-furlong sprint on the grass.
Trained by George Weaver for owners James Olson and R.A. Hill Stable, Fiddler’s Patriot took the lead at the top of the stretch, moving from third under Ramon Dominguez. The pair would go on for a 2 ½-length win in the five-furlong sprint. The winning time was 1:00.63, which was .04 of a second off the track record at Saratoga which Fiddler’s Patriot set as a 4-year-old in an optional claiming race in 2010.
By winning for the seventh time in 15 career starts, Fiddler’s Patriot hiked his bankroll to $348,206.
Earlier in July, the CCE-conditioned Pitch N Roll a 2-year-old gelding which broke  its maiden at first asking by winning a $39,000 race at Presque Isle Downs on June 23, moved into stakes company and finished second in the $50,000 Par Four Overnight Stakes at Delaware Park on July 12.
An Elkstone Group LLC homebred, owner of the Camden Training Center, Pitch N Roll finished a half-length behind The Absolute One in the 5 1/2 furlong sprint at Delaware Park. Jockey Jeremy Rose was given the leg up on Pitch N Roll by trainer Ron Potts.
Wooten grads running well: Conkate, a 3-year-old filly which received her start at Frank and Daphne Wooten’s Stable in Camden, finished second in a $40,000 starter allowance at Del Mar on July 22.
Trained by Steve Knapp and ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., Conkate was a half-length behind Brilliant Melody at the finish of the six-furlong sprint on the all-weather track. The final time was 1:10.56.
The start at Del Mar was the seventh for Conkate, which broke her maiden her fourth time out with a win at Hollywood Park on June 8. She has earned $38,030 with a win, two seconds and a third.
Another Wooten product, 3-year-old Ampersand, lost by a nose to Mia Poppy in a $64,000 race at Belmont Park on July 13 with Alan Garcia up for trainer Richard Violette.
Ampersand broke his maiden in his eighth start, winning at Aqueduct on April 7, 2012. Two starts later, he scored with a win in a $62,000 allowance race at Belmont. In 12 career starts, Ampersand has two wins, three seconds and a third for $125,109 in earnings.
A third Wooten Stable graduate, Seven Lively Sins, was second in his most recent start, a $59,000 five-furlong sprint on the turf at Churchill Downs on June 30 for trainer Al Stall who had Shaun Bridgmohan aboard the 3-year-old Stormy Atlantic colt. Manly won the race, beating Seven Lively Sins to the wire by three-quarters of a length.
Entered in an $82,00 race today at Saratoga in which he opened as the second morning line favorite in the first race at 4-1 odds, Seven Lively Sins has made eight starts with a win, two seconds and a pair of thirds which have earned his connections $116,296.
Ever So Lucky bounces back: After having been taken off the 2012 Kentucky Derby trail following a 10th place finish in the Bluegrass Stakes in April, the Jonathan Sheppard-trained Ever So Lucky won for the first time as a 3-year-old by winning a $39,000 allowance race at a mile on the dirt at Delaware Park on July 5.
Last Friday, the Augustin Stable-owned runner finished third behind winner Street Life and Five Sixteen in the $100,000 Curlin Stakes at Saratoga. John Velasquez got the ride on the son of Indian Charlie, which spent part of the winter and spring training at the Springdale Race Course for the Hall of Fame conditioner and part-time Camden resident.
The two races netted Ever So Lucky’s connection a combined $43,400 bringing his earnings to $111,377 from his six career starts in which he has two wins, a second and a pair of thirds.
Austin Brown getting closer: Austin Brown, a Dogwood Stable-owned 3-year-old named after the former Camden resident and Carolina Cup Racing Association Chairman-Emeritus, came home second in a $12,000 race at Penn National on July 21.
Ridden by Dana Whitney for trainer Christopher Grove, the son of 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus was 1 ¼ lengths behind Fleon in what was his eighth career start.
Austin Brown has three seconds and a third in his career, all this year, with earnings of $13,085.

(Turned from Home is a regular feature in the sports pages of the Chronicle-Independent spotlighting Thoroughbred flat horses, which were sent to the track from Camden, as well as local owners and trainers. Any persons having racing information which they would like to pass along and be included in this column should call the C-I sports department at 432-6157 or, via e-mail at tdidato@chronicle-independent.com.)

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