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West Point Runners Win 2 Races on Wednesday Card at Saratoga

August 03, 2011 · By Erin Birkenhauer · Share

Wednesday at Saratoga Race Course, that old adage proved true for the West Point runners who brought us to the winner’s circle not once, but two times. We had a great group of Partners out at the track today, and certainly enjoyed celebrating.

In the fifth race, a six-furlong maiden event, The Defense Rests made the front soon after the start. He led the field through honest early fractions (see chart) and kicked away under jockey Julien Leparoux to win by 5 ½ lengths.

It was highly satisfying to see this 4-year-old son of Closing Argument finally get a chance to show the talent we knew he possessed. Last year he ran two times, finishing third and fourth, but then he ran into some issues with his feet that put him on the sidelines for a while. Trainer Mike Hushion did a great job getting him ready to come back, but then we had a hard time getting races to go for him. We looked for races around the region, and actually entered at Saratoga twice before we found a race that had enough entries that fit his conditions. Wednesday, he even outperformed our expectations.

“It’s hard to tell the Partners, ‘We’re getting close, we’re getting close,’” Terry Finley said. “With this horse, the potential was there, it’s just been a matter of things coming together at the right time. I’m glad our team kept faith in him and we’ll look forward to good things from him down the road.”

As if the first score weren’t enough, Montana Knight
also delivered a victory for West Point in the 10th race, going 5 ½ furlongs on the turf (see chart). The 4-year-old son of Seattle Fitz settled well on the outside for Ramon Dominguez, shifted six wide off the turn and charged down the center of the course to earn the score by 1 ½ lengths.

Montana Knight, also trained by Hushion, has done some of his best running here at Saratoga and now has three victories to his name.

It felt great to be back in the Saratoga winner’s circle and even better to see these two runners turn in satisfying, rewarding efforts. We've got first time starter Flashy in Pink debuting tomorrow for Todd Pletcher, and three runners possible for Sunday, so hopefully we can add to the win column.

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