Beautiful Pleasure Wins Handicap
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) _ Beautiful Pleasure, enjoying an 11-pound weight concession, went to the front early and then held off favored Banshee Breeze by 2 1/4 lengths Friday to win the $400,000, Grade I Personal Ensign Handicap at Saratoga.
Ridden by Jorge Chavez and carrying 113 pounds, Beautiful Pleasure still led by five lengths with a furlong to go in the 1 1/4-mile race that was run on a muddy track.
Banshee Breeze finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of Keeper Hill, while Manoa, Tap to Music and Unbridled Hope completed the order of finish.
Beautiful Pleasure and Banshee Breeze last met in the Go For Wand Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 7. The race was a furlong longer and the weight difference the same, but Banshee Breeze prevailed by a half-length.
``The weight just broke the bridge today,″ said Carl Nafzger, Banshee Breeze’s trainer. ``It was very muddy out there. At least, she beat all the others.″
John Ward, Beautiful Pleasure’s trainer, credited the early lead for the victory.
``I don’t think they had much choice but to let her be on the lead,″ he said. ``She has a nice, long stride and a light weight. Nobody could chase her; they could just pray that she didn’t have enough strength to finish it up. It all comes down to timing.″
Beautiful Pleasure covered 1 1/4 miles in 2:02:2 and earned $240,000 for John C. Oxley with her second win in five starts this year.
The winner returned $11.40, $4.30 and $2.90. Banshee Breeze paid $2.70 and $2.10, while Keeper Hill was $2.80 to show.