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Winchester the Choice in the Grade III Stars and Stripes
Millionaire and multiple Grade I stakes winner Winchester, who races in the colors of Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, heads a field of seven grass runners entered for Saturday’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Stakes, a mile and a half turf contest that headline’s the track’s Military Appreciation Day.
Winner of the Grade I Secretariat Stakes over this course in 2008, Winchester returns to Arlington for the first time since that score and will be making his 2011 debut. The son of champion Theatrical, the 6-year-old horse last raced when finishing 11th in the Group I Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin last December.
A career earner of more than $1.2 million, the Christophe Clement trainee numbers the 2010 Grade I Manhattan Handicap and the Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational among his most prominent victories. Cornelio Velasquez has the mount.
Among those lining up to face Winchester Saturday are graded stakes winners William Stiritz’ Proceed Bee and Frank Mancari’s Free Fighter. The former, a Scott Becker-trained son of Bernstein, captured the Grade III Hawthorne Derby in 2009. The latter, a son of Out of Place and now trained by Mike Reavis, won the 2009 edition of this race when trained by Chris Block. Chris Emigh has the mount aboard Proceed Bee while Tim Thornton has been named to ride Free Fighter.
Completing the field for the Stars and Stripes (with jockey named) are: Philip Matich’s Getta Rhythm (James Graham); KFCB LLC’s Hattaash (Tanner Riggs); Ron McCauley’s Kingofthebluegrass (Junior Alvarado); and Richard Otto Stables’ Lemonade Kid (Jozbin Santana).