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Fillys vie in Currier & Ives

June 25, 2006
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Hidden Viggorish turned in her customary “my-way-or-the-highway” trip, languishing on the outside for the first three-eighths before securing the lead and drawing off to victory in a division of the $81,810 Currier & Ives for 3-year-old filly trotters Saturday night at The Meadows. The Currier & Ives was contested in three divisions, with Tresokay and Clareen taking the other splits.

Trainer Bill Zendt, who calls Hidden Viggorish “nervy” for her quirks on the track, usually drives the filly but entrusted her to his son, driver Brian Zendt, for the Currier & Ives. The younger Zendt experienced some on-the-job training, whether he wanted it or not.

“She’s not very handy, but she can go fast,” Brian Zendt said. “You can’t have her behind other horses because she doesn’t like dirt in her face. If you take hold of her, she flips her head in the air. You have to get her out in free flow and let her do her thing. She’ll go fast and won’t get tired. You don’t even have to speak to her. Just feed her line and she’ll take off.”

The winning time was 1:56.4, a tick off the stake mark established in 2004 by Three Little Words and Ray Paver. Harmony Spring Stable owns Hidden Viggorish, who prevailed by 3 1/4 lengths. When Caviar Cream Puff and Caviar’s Glory finished second and third, respectively, they completed a divisional sweep for sire SJ’s Caviar.

Tresokay had only one previous victory—that win also came at The Meadows—but trainer-driver DeWayne Minor pulled the pocket with her at the quarter pole when he saw the break by Up Front Hotsey, the 1-2 favorite.

“I thought we were the best,” Minor said. “The only other filly I was worried about was Up Front Hotsey. Last year her knees were bothering her so she just couldn’t race real solidly. This year she’s been in with some tough fillies, and things weren’t going her way. We’re aiming her for the Hambletonian Oaks. She has the speed; it’s just a matter of getting the luck and keeping her healthy.”

Cowboyland Aalborg owns the daughter of Self Possessed, who scored by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:56.4. Kosmopoliton saved place, while Keystone Vi Va rallied for third.

Clareen banked nearly $93,000 at 2 but broke stride in four of her first five 2006 starts. Trainer-driver Charlie Norris added hopples for the Currier & Ives, helping keep the daughter of SJ’s Photo flat throughout a spirited stretch drive.

“She’s tough to figure out,” said Norris, who trains Clareen for William and Maureen Kirwan. “I’m not sure the hopples were the answer, but they definitely helped her some. She still has trouble in the last turn, but she was pretty good. She’s raced real well on bigger tracks, so hopefully we can get her all the way straightened out for some races at those tracks.”

Clareen’s rally got her home a nose in front of the game Tori Ann in 1:57.3, a career best. Tich finished third. (The Meadows)
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