Snow Top Mountain & Paco win “All Along” stakes
Snow Top Mountain, whose form went sour following a Grade 3 win in Florida four months ago, was rejuvenated by a visit to Virginia in Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs.
No better than sixth in two subsequent starts since a half-length win in the Grade 3 Suwannee River at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 11, Snow Top Mountain ($15.40) responded to a change of scenery and new jockey Paco Lopez to take the 1 1/8-mile All Along on the undercard of the Colonial Turf Cup program.
The pack caught up to tiring pacesetter Speak Easy Gal at the top of the stretch, although she gamely battled until midstretch, where she was nearly on even terms with 2-1 co-favorite La Pernelle and Snow Top Mountain. Lopez, finding room along the rail, got a great late kick from Snow Top Mountain, who put her head in front at the sixteenth pole and then held off late charges from runner-up Clare Skies Ahead and third-place Shimmering Moment.
At the wire, Snow Top Mountain prevailed by a neck, with Clare Skies Ahead getting second by a head over 13-1 shot Shimmering Moment.
Horatio Karamanos, the rider of Clare Skies Ahead, a 16-1 outsider who was running for a $25,000 tag as recently as late April, filed an objection for interference against the winner going into the first turn, but the stewards disallowed the foul claim.
A 5-year-old mare trained by Thomas Proctor for owner-breeder Barbara Hunter, Snow Top Mountain completed the distance in 1:49.48. She has now won 7 of 23 starts lifetime.
* Action Andy ($11.40), stretching out off a series of dirt sprints, scored a front-running victory in the $50,000 Da Hoss.
Racing on turf for the first time since finishing fourth in the Maryland Million Turf eight starts ago, Action Andy was nursed through modest fractions by Karamanos and held off Sleepless Knight by a half- length while completing a mile in 1:36.01.
A 5-year-old trained by Carlos Garcia, Action Andy has now collected 3 wins and 3 seconds in 7 starts on Colonial’s grass course.
* Averil’s Ring ($34.20) held off 35-1 longshot Le Deluge by a neck to upset the $30,000 Old Nelson starter handicap at 1 3/16 miles. It was the third straight win over two seasons for the 5-year-old Averil’s Ring, ridden by Malcolm Franklin for trainer Craig Nicholson.
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