Tag: tony granitz
Two-time Indiana Horse of the Year Lady Fog Horn is retiring. The five-year-old homebred daughter of Zavata left Indiana Grand Tuesday, Oct. 31 to begin the next phase of her career in the brood mare ranks.
Lady Fog Horn made her first start at Indiana Grand August 23, 2014 for Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group and Trainer Tony Granitz. Her first win was recorded Oct. 11, 2014 in a $34,000 Maiden Special Weight with Malcolm Franklin aboard.
Lady Fog Horn’s career really took off as a three-year-old when she won five of seven races, including four stakes races in Indiana before completing her season with a second place finish in the $100,000 Grade III Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs. The talented Indiana bred filly returned at four with the same success, winning five of seven starts, including three Indiana stakes and topping the year off with a win in the Grade II $200,000 Fall City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Lady Fog Horn competed in four races in 2017, never finishing worse than third in any of those starts with her last outing a win over Indiana Grand’s turf course with standout apprentice rider Katie Clawson aboard.
Anytime a horse makes it to the winner’s circle, it’s very fulfilling for the jockey, trainer and owner. But for one horse at Indiana Grand, a trip to the winner’s circle marked a huge accomplishment for the team associated with Paint The Corners. Owned by Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group, the four-year-old filly bounced back after being away from the racetrack for nearly nine months to win the $34,500 Allowance Optional Claiming event Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Paint The Corners was purchased by Grant for $85,000 out of the Ocala Breeders Two-Year-Old Sale in March of 2015. She made her racing debut for her new connections under the direction of Trainer Tony Granitz at Indiana Grand, finishing third in August 2015. After a break during the winter, Paint The Corners broke her maiden at Arlington Park in July of 2016 before returning to Indiana Grand. Her final race of 2016 was recorded at Churchill Downs in late November before shipping south with the stable for the winter.
“We took her (Paint The Corners) to Tampa with us, but it just wasn’t a good fit for her, so we sent her to Mr. Grant’s farm in Camden, South Carolina,” said Granitz. “She was on the farm taking a vacation when the farm manager discovered she was in distress and rushed her to a local hospital for a colic surgery. Everything appeared to turn out okay but she had a relapse in March, so she’s been on the mend for a long time.”
After a slow start out of the gate and trailing the field early on, A J Pacer and Jockey Richard Bracho made a late move to finish third in the $34,500 Allowance race Wednesday, July 12. The race marked the second start for the fractional ownership program, Grand Gesture Stable, which formed last month.
Starting from post one, A J Pacer rallied around horses beginning in the turn of the six furlong race and was able to catch all but two horses in the race. Country Dreamin and Tommy Pompell used similar strategy with a late move to circle the pack and roll home for the win with Oh So Thirsty and Eddie Perez finishing second. A J Pacer rallied home third, beaten a total of five lengths. The time of the race was 1:11.64.
“The track is really fast today and I thought she raced really well,” said Bracho. “She was perfectly quiet in the gate and then she just tried to flip. But once she got going, she was perfect.”
It was the first time this season that racing fans at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino got to watch Lady Fog Horn over her home track and she didn’t disappoint. Indiana’s two-time Horse of the Year circled the field to win the $45,000 Allowance race over the turf with Indiana Grand’s leading jockey Katie Clawson aboard for the first time.
Starting from post two in the six horse field, Lady Fog Horn used just enough early speed to get early positioning in behind La Peregrina and Rodney Prescott, who established the pace along the inside. They were tracked closely by Sweet N Wicked and Dick Cardenas on the outside. Moving toward the final turn, the horses from the back of the pack began to make their moves forward so Clawson got Lady Fog Horn out into a clear path and began inching up toward the leaders.
At the top of the stretch, Lady Fog Horn was in full stride as she burst onto the scene to take control of the race. The five-year-old daughter of Zavata rallied out to a four and three-quarter length advantage at the wire, posting the mile in a time of 1:38.95. La Peregrina held onto second, just a neck ahead of Sweet and Wicked for third.
The excitement of watching A J Pacer Saturday, June 17 for her first start at Indiana Grand was at an all-time high. Many of the 50 shareholders of the three-year-old Indiana bred filly were in attendance for her first start, a $34,500 Allowance running five and one-half furlongs. After a slow start and trailing the field early, A J Pacer rallied home to a fifth place finish in the field of eight.
“She (A J Pacer) was wiggling inside the gate and she didn’t get out of the gate quick,” said Jockey Richard Bracho. “All the horses put on the front had a lot of early speed and she couldn’t make up any ground on them. She tried really hard and will be ready for her next start and will be better.”
A J Pacer, trained by Tony Granitz, had two starts last year at the age of two with one win and one second. The Keyed Entry filly made her last of three starts at Hawthorne Racecourse Nov. 2 and has been off since that time.
It was nearly a repeat of the last stakes race between Lady Fog Horn and She Mabee Wild, but this time, the outcome was different. The two talented four-year-old fillies went to battle once again in the stretch, but it was Lady Fog Horn who prevailed to win her second straight title in the 20th running of the $150,000-guaranteed Frances Slocum Stakes Saturday, Oct. 29 at Indiana Grand.
Starting from post eight, Jockey Albin Jimenez took Lady Fog Horn off the early pace as She Mabee Wild and Jesus Castanon went out for the early lead with Stage Five Creeper and Orlando Mojica showing good early foot from the outside to get into position early. Down the backstretch, Carmalley Chrome and Rodney Prescott snuck up the inside to challenge She Mabee Wild for the lead and saved ground into the final turn. Halfway through the turn, Jimenez timed his move just right and moved Lady Fog Horn to the outside to get some racing room.
At the top of the stretch, it was once again a two-filly race, similar to the last stakes race where She Mabee Wild and Lady Fog Horn went to battle in the $100,000 Richmond Stakes, giving the nod to She Mabee Wild by a head at the wire. Both fillies dug in gamely before Lady Fog Horn was able to forge to the front, taking home the victory by two and three-quarter lengths over Heart’s Song and Fernando De La Cruz, who moved into second. She Mabee Wild was third.
It’s always fun to watch a talented racehorse on the track and Lady Fog Horn is a perfect example of that. The 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year earned her second consecutive win in the 13th running of the $100,000-added Florence Henderson Stakes for registered Indiana bred three-year-old and up fillies and mares. Guided by 2015 Leading Jockey Albin Jimenez, Lady Fog Horn completed the one and one-sixteenth mile turf event to win her fifth career stakes race at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Starting from post one placed an interesting strategy on the race. Lady Fog Horn is known for her quick speed from the gate, but several others in the field also had the same capabilities. When the gate sprung open, Jimenez opted to allow others to race to the lead, sitting Lady Fog Horn to the back of the first pack of seven. Lady Fog Horn found her spot along the outside of the group of horses as Sweet N Wicked and Rodney Prescott powered to the lead from the extreme outside post nine. The top pair was joined by Heart’s Song and Brian Hernandez Jr. along the inside and Naked Bootleg and Richard Bracho on the outside.
Down the backstretch, Sweet N Wicked controlled the fractions and the pack stayed tightly bunched through fractions of :23.07, :46.99 and 1:10.35. Just as the field began heading into the final turn, the purple and green blinkers of Lady Fog Horn could be detected moving on the outside of horses in authoritative fashion. At the top of the stretch, Lady Fog Horn took over and moved out by a couple of lengths margin for the drive home, winning by one and one-quarter lengths at the finish over Heart’s Song, who moved into second on the inside over Sweet N Wicked, who maintained positioning for third. The final time of the race was 1:41.17.
Lady Fog Horn, the 2015 Indiana Horse of the Year, was back in action Thursday, Aug. 4, making her trip around the turf course look like a romp in the park. The four-year-old daughter of Zavata rallied at the end of the allowance event to win by two and one-quarter lengths over open competition in the seven and one-half furlong race.
Starting from post two, regular jockey Albin Jimenez used just enough of Lady Fog Horn’s speed to scoot in behind front runner Sweet N Wicked and Rodney Prescott. From there, they followed along, hugging the rail on both turns. In the final turn, it looked as if racing room might become an issue for Lady Fog Horn but Jimenez took advantage of an opening along the inside and shot through, positioning themselves on the lead before the rest of the field could react. Halfway through the stretch drive, Heart’s Song and Brian Hernandez Jr. were the widest and made the best move to close the gap, but could not catch Lady Fog Horn, who was under wraps in her 10th career victory in 18 career starts. Heart’s Song did snag the second place position over Naked Bootleg and Richard Bracho.
Owned by Stuart Grant’s The Elkstone Group, Lady Fog Horn is now two for three in 2016. Sickness sidelined her earlier in the year, but she proved that is all behind her with her latest win at Indiana Grand. She paid $3.80, $2.60 and $2.10 across the board as the favorite of the seven-horse field.
By Jennie Rees, Eclipse Award-winning freelance writer Indiana’s Horse of the Year will be on display during Indiana Grand’s showcase card Saturday night. Trainer Anthony Granitz just doesn’t know in which Indiana Grand stakes. Lady Fog Horn is accomplished on turf and dirt and was entered in both the $100,000 Mari Hulman George on […]
It was the first test outside of Florida for Strong Composition and he proved he will be a major contender in the Indiana Stakes program for 2016. Ridden by Albin Jimenez, The three-year-old son of Mancini was a strong winner to win his first career stakes race in stakes record time in the fourth running of the $100,000-added Sagamore Sired Stakes Wednesday, May 25 at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.
Starting from post eight, Strong Composition broke alertly and gained a stalking spot along the inside as Containment and Marcelino Pedroza set early fractions of :22.58 and :45.35 for the six furlong race. Derby Express and Malcolm Franklin chased the leaders early on and prepared for a move around the turn as they were joined by El Coco Loco and Eddie Perez in pursuit of the lead. Jimenez took an opportunity before the stretch to move Strong Composition to the outside so he would have a clear path to work with in the stretch.
Strong Composition found his stride as the field moved into the stretch. The chestnut colt rallied past his opponents with authority and opened up on the field to win by two lengths. Containment maintained his position for second over Derby Express, who held steady for third.
“I was able to jog this horse (Strong Composition) on Monday to get a little feel for him,” said Jimenez. “He’s a very nice horse. Tony told me in the paddock to try and stalk third or fourth and it worked out perfectly. We were able to move to the outside and he really excelled in the stretch.”