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WPT Poised for Big Memorial Day Weekend

May 21, 2009 · By · Share

Two Horses Running in Graded Stakes Leads Holiday Weekend Charge

For years, Memorial Day weekend has been known as the unofficial beginning of summer.  West Point Thoroughbreds is hoping to kick off their summer season in style as nine horses are scheduled to head to the post, including two in graded stakes races, over the holiday weekend.

Mr. Fantasy and Awesome Gem will both be competing in their respective stakes races on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th. 

Mr. Fantasy, coming off his dazzling performance in the Withers Stakes, will take on older horses for the first time in the G1 $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park.  The Met Mile will be Mr. Fantasy's first start in a Grade 1.  "We're looking forward to it," said WPT President Terry Finley.  "Obviously, whenever you talk about a Grade 1, you're talking about a prestigious race, and the Met Mile is no different.  Horses like Ghostzapper and Pico Central have won this race before, and we're hoping Mr. Fantasy can add his name to that list."  Mike Luzzi will be aboard Mr. Fantasy on Monday.

Awesome Gem, meanwhile, will run in the G3 $150,000 Berkeley Handicap at Golden Gate Fields later that same day.  Gem, who has hit the board in eight graded stakes races, including two Grade 1's, during his illustrious career, will be looking to add to that total.  The Berkeley Handicap will be his second start of the year.  "I thought he was extremely game in his return race (the G3 Inglewood Handicap)," said Finley.  "He should be much tighter this time.  I'm really looking forward to watching him run."  Alex Solis will be reunited with Awesome Gem in the Berkeley.

Also, over the course of the holiday weekend, seven other WP horses will enter starting gates across the country.  The seven runners will make their respective starts in six different states: California, Delaware, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

On Friday, Erin's Golden Star, Grey Chatelaine, and Pygmalion all go postward in search of wins.  Saturday, Beloved Deputy and RJ's Brigade look to give solid accounts of themselves.  On Sunday, Phosphorescent looks for his second career win, and Monday, Siouxnami will make his debut in a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park.

"It's a great time of year for us," said Finley.  "We're excited to be in the position we are with all these talented horses running all across this great country of ours."