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Winter Memories goes from last to first in G2 Lake George
RSS Feeds Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Winter Memories rolled to a 4 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Lake George S. (G2) July 27 at Saratoga, coming from last in a field of six with a powerful stretch move to win going away. The victory was an anniversary of sorts for owner/breeder John Phillips and trainer Jimmy Toner, who teamed up almost 15 years ago to the day to win the inaugural Lake George with Memories of Silver, dam of Winter Memories.

Relaxing more than usual, Winter Memories was last under Jose Lezcano for the first six furlongs before swinging wide on the turn and coming home down the middle of the stretch to win in a gallop. She completed the 1 1/16 miles on the turf course rated “good” in 1:41.57.

“It was surprising – she was off the bit and so relaxed down the backside, I didn’t know what to make of it, truthfully,” said Toner. “I said ‘Oh, my God, she doesn’t seem like she’s on it today.’ But, he dropped her head and there was nobody around and she just relaxed and was galloping along. When he picked her up and asked her to run, she just accelerated and took off.”

Toner said Saratoga's Grade 2, Woodford Reserve Lake Placid S.,  at 1 1/8-miles on Aug. 21, would be next for Winter Memories

“Sometimes in a race you would have to fight with her but today she was very professional,” added Lezcano. “When I asked her, she took off like she was coming out of the gate! Once I got her to the outside, she galloped. I think she can still get even better, but the way she ran today was very impressive.”

The victory was the fifth in six lifetime starts for Winter Memories, who is also undefeated in three starts in 2011. The filly, who opened her sophomore campaign by winning the Grade 3 Appalachian at Keeneland, won the Grade 2 Sands Point at Belmont Park on May 30. In 2010, she took the Grade 3 Miss Grillo S. at Belmont Park in October following her maiden win at Saratoga. She ended the year with a second-place finish to More Than Real in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2). She has now earned $540,600.

Regally bred Winter Memories is by El Prado. Her dam 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.