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Belmont Memorial Day stakes double for Darby Dan
RSS Feeds Monday, May 30, 2011
Darby Dan's star of the May 30th Memorial Day card at Belmont Park was the homebred Winter Memories, who won the $150,000 Sands Point S. (G2) by a facile three lengths with her powerful stretch kick. One race later in the Metropolitan H. (G1), the Darby Dan raised and sold Tizway added to the day's resume with a powerful 2 3/4-length win in the historic race.

Winter Memories looked like a 3-5 favorite should, winning much easier than the margin indicated. The 3-year-old filly usually sits further off the pace, but will slow early fractions, she was less than a length, in third, after a half mile in a pedestrian :51.41 seconds. She ranged up three wide around the turn without being asked by her rider Jose Lezcano, then burst away at the top of the stretch. Coming home under a hand ride, Winter Memories completed the 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf in 1:42.61.

“She just galloped over there,” said Lezcano. “I had to go very close to the pace, but when I asked her, she gave me the same kick she always give me and she picked it up very quick. She usually sits back and makes a run, but today there was no pace in the race, so I had to do what I had to do. This is the kind of filly you can do whatever you want with, you can keep her close or you can take her back. Today, with six horses and no pace, I had to put her in the race.”

The victory was the second in as many starts this year for Winter Memories, who has won four of her five career starts. The filly, who opened her sophomore campaign by winning the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland, took the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park last October following her maiden win and ended the year with a second-place finish to More Than Real in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2).

“Our main goal is the Queen Elizabeth II (Grade 1, at Keeneland in October); we’ll figure out the best way to get her there and look at the Lake George (Grade 2, July 27) and Lake Placid (Grade 2, August 21) in Saratoga,” said Jimmy Toner, who trains Winter Memories.

The victory, worth $90,000, raising the filly’s earnings to $450,600.

Regally bred Winter Memories is out of Memories of Silver, who was also owned and bred by Phillips and won $1.4 million in a stellar career that saw her score in the Beverly D. (G1), Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1), Diana H. (G2) and five other added money events. Memories of Silver has produced two other stakes winners, War Trace and British Blue, in addition to Winter Memories.

Tizway scorches foes in Grade 1 Met Mile

Tizway blazed his way to  the second-fastest Met Mile H. (G1) in history May 30 at Belmont Park, missing the stakes record by just 0.09 seconds and the track record by less than 3/5's of a second, while rolling to a 2 3/4-length win.

Tizway was bred in Kentucky by Whisper Hill Farm and was raised and sold by Darby Dan Farm at the 2006 Keeneland September yearling sale for $140,000.

Out of the unraced Dayjur mare Bethany, Tizway is a half-brother to the stakes winner Ticket to Seattle. Bethany is a half-sister to two-time Grade 1 winner Will's Way.