Never Retreat second by a nose in the River Memories Stakes

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The first stake race of the afternoon was the River Memories which would have featured a full field of fourteen until six stewards scratches turned the one mile jaunt over the E.P Taylor turf course into a much more manageable affair. Trainer Jonathan Sheppard was on hand to saddle Fantasia for the Augustin Stable. Jockey Anna Napravnik got the call on Fantasia who has been chasing Breeders' Cup bound Proviso in recent races. Other contenders included shipper Never Retreat and locals Magic Broomstick and Points of Grace. While I generally steer clear of first time turf shippers to Woodbine due to our uniquely European style course, I felt quite confident about Fantasia's chances based on her results in races in England in 2009 and the filly would not disappoint. Patrick Husbands and Points of Grace led the field through fractions of 25.76 and 50.45 while battling Justin Stein and shipper Sweeter Still. Fantasia and Napravnik waited patiently at the back of the pack but patience ran out turning into the stretch and Fantasia surged to the lead down the middle of the track. Napravnik admitted in the post-race interview that she might have waited a little longer as she was soon joined mid-stretch by Never Retreat and a rail-riding Magic Broomstick. The trio trekked through a furious battle to the wire hitting the finish simultaneously. When the dust cleared, Fantasia was named the winner by a nose over Never Retreat who nosed out Magic Broomstick for place.

Oct 30th, 2010 07:33 PM

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