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October 8, 2011

Lemon Juice Joins the Ranks of Laurel Futurity Winners

Posted in: Press Releases by Shawn Short on October 8, 2011 at 5:56 pm

LAUREL, MD. 10-08-11—PTK LLC’s Lemon Juice sat chilly behind his entry mate, then exploded down the stretch to win the $75,000 Laurel Futurity, the feature offering on this sunny autumn afternoon at Laurel Park.

Run for the first time since 2007, the historic fixture brought together nine 2-year-olds. Lemon Juice, a Johannesburg colt trained by Dane Kobiskie, was winning his second stakes race in as many starts, this time under jockey Travis Dunkelberger.

Oil Rig, the other half of the Kobiskie entry, set the pace while Lemon Juice tracked the leader into the turn. Play Eighteen took the lead from Oil Rig, while Lemon Juice was shuffled back coming out of the bend. In deep stretch Play Eighteen could not resist the late assault of the winner, who completed the race in 1:11.38 over the good turf. Magical Season served up a bold late rally to take second, while Just Sayin finished third and Play Eighteen was fourth. Oil Rig faded to seventh.

“He broke real well and just sat real close,” said Dunkelberger. “I didn’t want to push the 1A (Oil Rig) at all. If he kept going he kept going. It was a long stretch, to the second wire, so it all worked out. I didn’t hit him until late, like at the first wire and when I did I had a ton of horse.”

Lemon Juice paid $4.20 and topped a $97.40 exacta and $734.60 trifecta.

“At the three-sixteenths pole I thought the entry mate was going to run away but he kind of gets lost on the front end sometimes,” said Kobiskie. “Lemon Juice is game and Travis rode him perfect, let him settle into stride and then relaxed around the turn and not feel rushed and let him make that one run. It’s a great, historic race to win.”

The victory was the second for Lemon Juice over the grass and his fourth win in seven starts.

“He’s shows up every time,” added Kobiskie. “He has run hard this year.”

The race was once of the nation’s most prestigious Grade 1 stakes for two-year-olds. Morvich won the first running of the Futurity on his way to victory in the 1922 Kentucky Derby. Fifteen other winners have gone on to capture a Triple Crown race: Challedon (1939 Preakness); Bimelech (1940 Derby & Preakness); Count Fleet (1943 Triple Crown); Jet Pilot (1947 Derby); Citation (1948 Triple Crown); Capot (1949 Preakness & Belmont); Quadrangle (1964 Belmont); High Echelon (1970 Belmont); Riva Ridge (1972 Derby & Belmont); Secretariat (1973 Triple Crown); Affirmed (1978 Triple Crown); Spectacular Bid (1979 Derby & Preakness); Bet Twice (1987 Belmont); Go and Go (1990 Belmont) and Barbaro (2006 Derby).

RAPID REDUX SCRATCHED OUT OF TUESDAY’S 5TH RACE

Rapid Redux, who has won 17 consecutive starts to move to within two of the all-time North American record of 19 straight victories held by Zenyatta and Pepper’s Pride, has been scratched out of Tuesday’s 5th race at Laurel Park.

The David Wells trainee was entered yesterday by his connections as a main track only runner in the $18,000 starter allowance scheduled on the turf. Rain is not in the forecast until Wednesday so it is unlikely the race will come off the grass.

Towson native Robert Cole claimed the son of Pleasantly Perfect nearly one year ago at Penn National for $6,250 and has watched the gelding win 18 of 19 races with earnings of $210,609, the majority in starter allowance company. He is a perfect 15-of-15 in 2011. Rapid Redux has won at seven different distances from five-furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

Cole indicated Rapid Redux would likely be entered in a $25,000 starter allowance at 1 1/8 miles, scheduled for Friday, October 14 at Charles Town and a $17,000 starter allowance race at one mile at Laurel Park to be run Saturday, October 15. Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale also has a $17,000 starter allowance race at five-furlongs in her condition book for Tuesday, October 18.

The win-streak began on Dec. 2, 2010 at Penn National. Since then Cole and Wells have sent their star to seven different tracks, including Laurel Park and Timonium in Maryland, using seven different riders.