Rail Runner

The Observations of a Horse Racing Enthusiast

Winter Memories Vs. the Field

Posted by Brian Appleton on September 16, 2011

[Originally posted on Horse Racing Nation]

Winter Memories turned in the worst effort of her brilliant career last month when she finished fourth in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid Stakes (gr.2) after enduring a horrible trip boxed in on the rails. Now, the four-time graded stakes winner returns Saturday to defend her reputation against a strong field of eight sophomore fillies on Belmont Park’s inner turf course.

Despite finishing out of the money in the Lake Placid, Winter Memories will still go off a solid favorite in the Garden City Stakes (gr.1) off the strength of her three consecutive graded stakes scores earlier this year. Starting in mid-May the striking gray filly won the Grade 3 Appalachian Stakes, Grade 2 Sands Points Stakes and the Grade 2 Lake George Stakes, all in dominant fashion. After breaking from post five in a field of seven in the Woodford Reserve Lake Placid, Winter Memories got pinned down on the rail as the field navigated the far turn and struggled to find a gap to run through as the field entered the homestretch. She finally managed to work her way through an opening on the inside and find clear running room, but by that time it was too late, and Hungry Island was well on her way to winning. In seven lifetime starts the El Prado filly has crossed the line ahead of the pack five times and finished second once. Her only unplaced effort came in the Lake Placid. She enters the Garden City Stakes off two five furlongs works. Her last move was a fairly slow 1:03.48 move over Belmont’s Inner Turf course, but still ranked as the fastest of three moves at the distance. There is little doubt she is the class of this field, and that’s saying a lot when you consider there are three other graded stakes winners running, not to mention two black-type stakes winners. She’s the type of filly that makes you think she’s a once in a lifetime kind of talent. [Read the complete story here on Distaff Runner at Horse Racing Nation]

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