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2007 Ruffian Handicap and Garden City Stakes

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Ginger Punch wins the 2007 Ruffian Handicap
Ginger Punch wins the 2007 Ruffian Handicap

Ginger Punch wins the 2007 Ruffian Handicap at Belmont Park

© Vanessa Ng
September 8, 2007

The distaff division competed in Saturday's $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (G1) at 1 1/16 miles on the main track at Belmont Park, kicking off the graded stakes action for the Fall Championship Meet. Just four entered, with Go For Wand winner Ginger Punch the 3-4 favorite over Ogden Phipps winner Take D'Tour and Personal Ensign winner Miss Shop.

Take D'Tour set the pace down the backstretch of 23.28 and 45.93 over the fast track while Teammate stalked her to her inside and favorite Ginger Punch loomed to her outside. Take D'Tour stubbornly held the lead into the stretch after 6 furlongs in 1:10.06, but Ginger Punch had hit her best stride and was quickly closing the gap. Ginger Punch poked her head in front at the 3/16 pole and held off the late-closing Miss Shop by just 3/4 length at the line in 1:40.25. It was just 1/2 a length back to Teammate in third, and 1 1/4 more to pacesetter Take D'Tour last.

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