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Saturday, November 18
Longshot Cetewayo wins Red Smith Handicap




JAMAICA, N.Y. -- Two years after his "Miracle in the Mile," Michael Dickinson provided another reminder why he's one of the most respected trainers in the game.

Cetewayo had run just twice since his fabulous 1998 campaign, but Dickinson had him fit enough to rally from 15 lengths back to run down Understood and win the $150,000, Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap by a neck before 8,006 at Aqueduct.

Val's Prince, the 8-year-old gelding, finished third, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of stablemate Whata Brainstorm. Drama Critic, the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, finished fifth.

While not on the same scale as Da Hoss's "miracle" victory in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Mile off just one race in two years under Dickinson's care, Cetewayo's Red Smith score nonetheless was remarkable.

Following a successful campaign as a 4-year-old in 1998, which included a victory in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga, Cetewayo had run just once in 1999 and once in 2000. His lone race this year was a 7 1/4-length loss in the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park on July 1.

"To me, it's just another extraordinary training feat," said winning rider Richard Migliore. "I'm happy to be a part of it."

After breaking well, Cetewayo took a few bad steps and took himself back to 11th in the 13-horse field. He was able to save plenty of ground early, but had to angle three wide around the third turn and five wide into the stretch. But Cetewayo kicked in with a powerful late run that was able to catch Understood in the final strides.

Cetewayo covered the 1 3/8 miles over a good turf course in 2:17.93 and returned $19.40 to win and keyed a $296 exacta.

"He did pull going into the first turn then he hit some holes, came out of the bridle and settled," Migliore said. "He might have settled more than I anticipated but it worked out well. Itís kind of a kick to ride a horse like that; he had so much ground to make up and not a lot of time to do it. I felt really confident at the eighth pole I was the winner."

Said Dickinson: "I was hemming and hawing whether to run him or not but the boy who gets on him said you must run. He was absolutely adamant."

Dickinson said Cetewayo would make his next start in the W.L. McKnight Handicap on Dec. 30 at Calder, and would run again next year.

Earlier this week, Richard Schosberg was talking big with Understood and the 4-year-old Virginia bred responded with a solid performance. He took a short lead from Val's Prince at the eighth pole and gave way grudgingly.

"He's learning to be a nice horse," Schosberg said. "I think there's room for improvement for next year."

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