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Off the grass, Affirmed Dancer waltzes

Saturday, December 6, 2003 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 6, 2003 . . . Turf runner Affirmed Dancer was one-for-one on the dirt when she lined up for the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes at Turfway Park today. Now she’s two-for-two.

Affirmed Dancer’s previous dirt victory came last March when she led gate-to-wire in an allowance race that was taken off the turf at Gulfstream Park. Her tenacity then, when she never had more than half a length on her competition, showed up again today as she stayed right with the pace-setting Glitter Act, who was guided by Craig Perret.

“Craig’s real dangerous on the lead,” said winning jockey Willie Martinez. “I wanted to be mid-pack, but when Craig was on the lead I knew I had to get up close to his horse, and the more I did, the more comfortably she got up there, and when I asked her to go she just went.”

“She’s only run twice on the dirt and she’s won both times. Maybe we’ve been running her in the wrong place,” said a smiling Tracy Farmer, the filly’s owner. It’s more likely that both dirt and turf are equally right for the four-year-old, who also has three wins, three seconds, and one third from 12 starts on the turf.

The winner finished the 1 1/16-mile course in 1:45.43 over a track left muddy by two preceding days of steady drizzle. Three wide, she took the lead in mid-stretch, leaving Glitter Act to finish a strong third just a neck behind Donnaree. Donnaree came from mid-pack to challenge Affirmed Dancer and was still closing when she veered out right before the wire. She finished three-quarters of a length back in second but was vanned off the track with a splint on her right foreleg.

Salzurita was fourth, a length and a quarter behind Glitter Act. The favorite, My Trusty Cat, stalked the pace as expected but lost position in a bid to move up along the rail and finished a neck back in fifth.

Completing the order of finish were La Princesse Jolie, There Runs Hattie, Stonebridge Lady, Ellens Lucky Star, My Real Quiet Lady, Ponche de Leona, and Ravish Me.

Affirmed Dancer, trained by John C. Kimmel, was sent off at 8-1 and paid $18.40, $9.20, and $5.60.

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