FAIRPLEX STORY: PATRICK VALENZUELA RIDES TO 'GLORY' AT FAIRPLEX PARK
For Immediate Release
POMONA, Calif., Sept. 26--Patrick Valenzuela, fresh from a Hawaiian vacation,
returned to the races at Fairplex Park on Thursday and piloted Manhattan
Express to an easy 7 1/4-length victory in the 33rd running of the $49,500
Gateway to Glory Stakes for 2-year-olds.
Valenzuela, leading rider at the recent Del Mar meet, rated Manhattan Express
in fourth place until the field approached the 5/16 pole in the 1 1/16-mile
race, then took command. Manhattan Express opened up to win ridden out,
breaking his maiden in the process.
"Going around the turn he picked it up really nice," Valenzuela said of the
$17,000 New York-bred son of Coment Shine, who was purchased at the Barretts
May sale. "He ran a very big race. He handled the bullring fine and A.C.
(trainer A.C. Avila) told me the horse had a helluva shot (to win)." Avila
saddled three winners on the day.
Jimmy O, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Matt Garcia, ran gamely to finish second
after battling for the lead throughout. Hair Jordan, a 22-1 shot, rallied for
third, one length behind Jimmy O. Pine For Java, Charmer Baron, Aye Chihuahua
and Slab Granite completed the order of finish. Kissin Paster was scratched.
Manhattan Express covered the distance on a fast track in 1:44.08 under 114
pounds and paid $6 to win. He earned $27,500 for owner Melvin Ross.
There were four winning tickets on Thursday's Pick Six payoff of $78,350.80,
created by a two-day carryover.
Warren's Whistle will seek a place in Los Angeles County Fair racing history
Friday when she attempts to become a four-time stakes winner at Fairplex in
the 46th edition of the $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap.
The 4-year-old gray filly, trained by Mel Stute, the track's career leader in
overall victories with 171 and stakes victories with 42, won the Black Swan
Stakes at 2, the Pio Pico Stakes at 3 last year, and repeated in the Pio Pico
at 4 this year on Sept. 20. He's A Saros, Loukahl and Prospect For Four are
the current four-time stakes winners at the Pomona oval. The record is six
shared by Dawn Lark, Gundaghia and Rob Bob.
The field for the 1 1/16-mile Las Madrinas for fillies and mares, 3-years-old
and up, in post position order: Spunky Gal, Tyler Baze, 118, 5-1; Revillew
Slew, Isaias Enriquez, 114, 8-1; Warren's Whistle, Martin Pedroza, 118, 7-2;
Covincing, David Flores, 114, 9-2; Lookn Mighty Fine, Matt Garcia, 113, 6-1;
Skywriting, Scott Stevens, 116, 3-1; De Goddaughter, Chance Rollins, 117,
12-1; Mimi's Cafe, Pat Valenzuela, 115, 15-1; Hazen, Iggy Puglisi, 113, 20-1;
and Land Tax, Goncalino Almeida, 112, 8-1. Revillew Slew and Land Tax are
coupled as an entry.
First post time through closing day, Sunday, is 12:30 p.m.