Friday, November 22, 2002
Updated: November 23, 8:59 PM ET
Evening Attire flashy in win
By David Grening
Daily Racing Form
OZONE PARK, N.Y. -- In what amounted to little more than a public workout, Evening Attire cruised to an eight-length victory in Saturday's $150,000 Red Smith Handicap before a crowd of 5,736 at blustery Aqueduct.
Fisher Pond overtook pacemaker Pleasant Breeze to get second by one length. Polish Miner, Classic Par, and Chasin' Wimmin completed the order of finish.
The Red Smith, originally carded at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, was moved to the dirt on the recommendation of track superintendent Jerry Porcelli. Porcelli told the stewards and New York Racing Association president Terry Meyocks the course was dangerous between the five-eighths and five-sixteenths poles.
According to Porcelli, Aqueduct's turf course has absorbed 2.85 inches of rain since last Saturday and almost 13.5 inches of rain since Oct. 1. The Red Smith was the eighth turf stakes in New York to be rained off the turf and moved to the main track this year. It was downgraded to a Grade 3, pending a review by the graded stakes committee.
After finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Evening Attire was being pointed to Friday's Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs by trainer Pat Kelly. But, Kelly took a shot by entering him main-track only in the Red Smith.
"He's a hometown boy, that's why we stayed,' Kelly said. "Actually, we haven't found an out of town track that he likes yet. Believe me, I thought they were going to stay on the grass. This is great ...Thanksgiving at home.'
Shaun Bridgmohan rode Evening Attire like the 1-2 favorite he was. While Pleasant Breeze dueled with Polish Miner, Bridgmohan kept Evening Attire galloping at the back of the pack. Around the turn, Evening Attire made a four-wide bid toward the leaders and took command in upper stretch. He covered the 1 3/8 miles over a fast track in 2:14.81 and returned $3.10 to win.
"He settled great,' Bridgmohan said. "A couple of times he got in the bridle and I took a hold of him. He just turned off and said, 'Okay, what else do you want me to do?' He was there once I smooched to him down the backside.'
Kelly said he would give Evening Attire a break in December and January. He may crank him up again in February if the decision is made to run in the Dubai World Cup on March 29.