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2009 Donn Handicap Weekend Stakes

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Lady Carlock wins the 2009 Suwannee River Stakes
Lady Carlock winner of the 2009 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park

Lady Carlock winner of the 2009 Suwannee River Stakes at Gulfstream Park

© Vanessa Ng
The $125,000 Suwannee River Stakes (G3) featured a field of 8 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. Canadian champion turf female Callwood Dancer was sent off as the 2-1 favorite exiting a runner-up finish in the My Charmer Handicap at Calder last out. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Tejida, winner of an allowance/optional claimer last out, and 9-2 third choice Waquoit's Love, winner of the Marshua's River three weeks back.

Flibberjibit battled on the pace with Tejida through fractions of 24.63, 49.41, and 1:12.50, with Mushka stalking them out wide in third. Entering the stretch, Mushka moved up to challenge, taking over the lead at the 1/8 pole after a mile in 1:35.87. However, Lady Carlock, who was last for the first 6 furlongs, came out wide into the stretch and closed with a rush to get up by a head in the final strides in 1:47.65 over the firm course. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Drop a Line third. Favorite Callwood Dancer raced in seventh early but showed no late rally, finishing fifth.

Winning trainer Carl Nafzger said, "She's an easy filly to train. You just point her in the right direction and she does what you ask. She's been Graded stakes-placed before, but this is her first stakes win and it's Graded. I was concerned that the pace might not be fast enough up front, but she got there. She's good and sound and will go on and race this year."

Jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan added, "It was a slow pace, but my horse was still able to make her run. I think the eight (Mushka) came out more than I came in. I didn't think it was my fault and I was glad they left her up. She ran a fantastic race. She's a one-run filly, so I just tried to not to take anything away from her."

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