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' , SPORTS I Wednesday, May 21, 2014 I pJrJt of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE I PAGE B3 TED BLACK Flattering:, Bea places strong second after Charles Town stakes victory While many thoroughbred rac- ing enthusiasts focused their at- tention on the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico on Saturday as Ken- tucky Derby winner Califor- nia Chrome also captured the second jewel of racing's Triple Crown, horses that had competed at Charles Town in recent weeks were on hand at Old Hilltop look- ing to earn their share of the spot- light in other events. Last Friday afternoon in Bal- timore, when the venue's two centerpiece events were the $400,000 Grade 2 Black-Eyed- Susan Stakes for 3-year-old fil- lies and the $300,000 Grade 3 Pimlico Special for older hors- es, Flattering Bea arrived in the $100,000 Skipat Stakes for fil- lies and mares off a win in the $200,000 Sugar Maple Stakes at Charles Town. Flattering Bea was seeking to follow in the footsteps of talented Dance to Bristol, who used victo- ries in the Sugar Maple and Skipat as the springboard to three grad- ed stakes victories in New York, capped by the $500,000 Grade 1 Ballerina at Saratoga last sum- mer. When the gate opened in the latest renewal of the Skipat, Flat- tering Bea - the longest shot on the board in a compact field of five - and favored Winning Image both broke alertly and those two fillies dueled for command down the backside and by the opener in 22.4, five lengths clear of Lion D JEFF BRAMMER Flattering Bea wins the Sugar Maple Stakes last month on the undercard of the $1.5 million Grade 2 Charles Town Classic, NAin third. Flattering Bea and Winning Im- age continued to battle through the far turn and then Lion D N A grad- Ually joined the fray, while neither She's Ordained or Red's Round Table ever got into contention. The final furlong evolved into a three-horse showdown as Flatter- ing Bea, Winning Image and Lion D N A appeared to be almost in- separable. But after sitting just off the ear- ly duelers, Lion D N A had plenty left for the stretch drive and the Il- linois-bred daughter of Lion Heart rallied late for a one-length score in 1:11.09 for the six furlongs. Flattering Bea battled bravely along the rail to finish second, a neck better than Winning Image. A 4-year-old daughter of Flat- ter trained by Crytal Pickett for owner-breeder James Arrison, Flattering Bea has a 1-2-0 slate and $150,000 bankroll from four starts this year and she now sports a 5-5-0 slate and almost $320,000 in career earnings from 15 life- time tries. Several races later on the Fri- day card at Pimlico, Moreno fin- ished fourth in the Pimlico Spe- cial for older horses. In his previ- ous start, Moreno made his sea- sonal debut in the $1.5 million Grade 2 Charles Town Classic and finished third behind long- shot winner Imperative md odds- on runner-up Game On )ude. He owns a 2-5-3 slate and laore than $800,000 banked in his 17-race career. Then on Saturday at Pimli- co, three hours before the Preak- ness, Open the Bank fmished sec- ond as an overlooked 25-1 shot in the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes for 3-year-olds. The Fairbanks gelding trained by Sandra Dono of Lucy's Bob Boy fame remained winless in five starts this year, but he sports an 0-3-1 slate and seasonal earn- ings of $40,000. He owns a 2-3-1 record and $85,000 bankroll from nine lifetime tries. As for California Chrome, the California-bred son of Lucky Pul- pit, who trains at Los Alamitos, can trace his lineage back to three mares in Maryland, one of which notched her only career victory at Charles Town. California Chrome is out of the Not For Love mare, Love The Chase, who is out of the Polish Numbers mare Chase It Down. During her brief racing career for owner-breeder Dr. Tom Bowman, Chase It Down won only once in nine starts and earned just over $12.500, but her lone tally was a maiden special weight score at Charles Town on Nov. 17, 2000. California Chrome will seek to become the sport's 12th Tri- ple Crown winner and first in 36 years when he heads to Belmont Park for the $2 million Belmont Stakes on June 7. He will again likely be the odds-on favorite in that race, although he could face upwards of 10 riValS who be seek- ing to thwart his bid for racing im- mortality. HORSE RACING California Chr(,me cleared to wear nasal strip in Belmont NEW YORK (AP) - Califor- nia Chrome beat out an idiosyn- cratic racing rule - by a nose. The colt is back on track for his Triple Crown try after an on- ly-in-New York equipment ban appeared ready to put a kink in his Triple Crown try at the Bel- mont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner was cleared to wear the nasal strip he has wom all through a six-race winning streak that has set him up for a chance at horse racing's 12th Triple Crown. New York racetracks have a rule prohibiting any equipment not specifically approved by stewards, and nasal strips were not on their list. A statement from the New York Racing As- sociation and the state's Gaming Commission on Monday said the track's three stewards unani- mously agreed to lift the ban. The strip wom by Califor- nia Chrome during his six-race winning streak is thought to as- sist airflow through the nostrils - something that should come in handy June 7 for Belmont's gru- eling run. "I think it opens up his air passage and gives him that lit- tle extra oomph that he needs, especially going a mile and a half," trainer Art Sherman said. "Any time you can have a good air passage that means a lot for these thoroughbreds." Other states allow equine na- sal strips while racing, and even some jockeys wear them, as do humans in other sports. Amer- AP Kentucky Derby and Prsak- ness winner Callfomla Chrome has been cleared by racing officials In New York to wear a nasal strip in the Bel- mont on June 7. ican marathon star Meb Ke- flezighi can be seen sporting one during his winning run in Boston last month. California Chrome doesn't need to go 262 miles to reach racing immortal- ity, though. Just 1 will do. Racing hasn't had a Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, and the sport's popularity has waned in the nearly four de- cades since. But it gets a boost every time a horse heads to the Big Apple with a Triple Crown on the line. Sherman raised the possibili- ty his horse wouldn't run in the Belmont if barred from using a nasal strip, but the problem was solved in about 24 hours, clear- ing the way for big crowds and plenty of betting at Belmont in less than three weeks. Jockey Espinoza receives second chance at crown BALTIMORE (AP) - After falling one race short of the Triple Crown 12 years ago, Victor Es- pinoza figured he had missed his chance at horse racing history. Then he got aboard California Chrome. After winning the Kentucky Derby on May 3 and then guiding the chestnut colt to victory in the Preakness on Saturday, Espino- za will get another opportunity to close out a Triple Crown on June 7 in the Belmont. 'Tm ready for it," the 41-year- old native of Mexico said Satur- day evening. Espinoza needed only to win the Belmont on War Emblem in 2002 to secure the sport's first Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. But his horse stumbled to his knees at the start and never re- eovered. Espinoza was devastated. Af- finned is still the last horse to the Triple Crown, and it's up to Espinoza to add California Chrome's name to the lisf. . "In a million years I didn't think I was going to have a sec- ond chance," Espinoza said. "l was very close once. Life goes on. But after a decade, here we go. I'm here again." Older, wiser and maybe - just maybe - with a better horse than last time. :_ Espinoza wanted to keep Cal- ifornia Chrome off the pace for much of the race, but circum- stances dictated that he make his charge to the front earlier than planned. Fortunately, the horse was up to the task. : "I had to start moving at the half-mile pole, which is tough for a horse to start moving early and keep going all the way to the end" Espinoza said. "Today, California Chrome proved he can move." It was the sixth straight win for California Chrome. Someone asked what the No. 1 ingredient was for the streak. "I think the way I ride him," Es- pinoza said. "I'll drink to that," trainer Art Sherman added. Espinoza insists he learned a lot from his experience with War Emblem, and those lessons will be valuable this time around. "The first time I was there, there were some things I was not ready for," he said. "Some things that I did I shouldn't have done, and some things that I had done that I'm just glad I did. But now I have a second chance, so I prob- ably will enjoy myself a little bet- ter and go day by day. Because as long as California Chrome comes out good and is ready for the next step, I'll be ready, too." lirll ,9 201 PL, Keyless Entry, and AM/FM/Sirius Radio All9 PW, PL, Kefless Entry, Radio New2014 _ _ . ....... 2525 Valley Avenue, r000-667 gIN 800-490-4447 mnm00er, vL22601 VISIT US ON THE WEB AT00WWW.PARSONSKIAOFWINCHEsTER.COM 1