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Ballynoe Rallies to Win Claire Marine Stakes

| Churchill Downs Communications | 09/19/2009 #

Blue Nine Stables' Ballynoe charged down the stretch to defeat favorite Winter View in the $53,900 Claire Marine Stakes in the Saturday feature at Arlington Park.

The victory in the mile and a half grass race marked the second win of the meet for the Distorted Humor filly as well as consecutive wins in the Claire Marine for trainer Tom Proctor, who took the 2008 edition with Goat Cheese.

Ballynoe bided her time racing in mid-pack behind pace setter Pure Heaven. When jockey James Graham asked the 4-year-old filly for run at the top stretch she responded with a half-length victory over the firm turf course and stopped the clock in 2:34.05.

"Tom (trainer Proctor) said to be patient with her and wait as long as I could," said Graham, "They ran away from me down the backside and I just kept her relaxed and settled.  When we turned for home, I called on her and she split them and went.  (It opened up for me) like the Red Sea."

Winter View, the 7-10 post time favorite, raced last through most of the race and was getting to the winner late but ran out of stretch late for jockey Jesus Castanon.

"Everything worked fine, I had a good trip but the winner had a better one," said Castanon. "I had to swing around while he was able to save ground, that's what killed me.  But she gave me a 100 percent run, she tried."

The win bumped Ballynoe's bankroll to $145,915 and her record to 4-2-3 from 18 career starts.

Sweet and Flawless completed the trifecta followed by Cavan Thunder, Pure Heaven, Polo Lounge, and Kite Seeker.

Ballynoe returned $14.80, $5.20, and $3.20. Winter View paid $2.40 and $2.10. Sweet and Flawless returned $2.40.