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Gray Gladiator to return

July 13, 2005

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Forced to miss the last month of racing because there just wasn't any place to race, Admiral's Express has drawn post five in a $50,000(C) Open Pace at Mohawk Racetrack Saturday night. The 9-year-old gelding has not started in a pari-mutuel race since June 18, when he won his third straight start and eighth of the year in 19 attempts. Admiral's Express won his second straight qualifier at Mohawk July 12, scoring by nine lengths in 1:52.3.

"Actually, they didn't write any races. We've tried some places but they didn't want to let us in," co-owner Ed Sayfie told harnessracing.com Wednesday morning, July 13, from his home in western Michigan. "We didn't want to ship the 10 hours to the Meadowlands but we were about to if he didn't get in this week. He's 100 percent sound and he's ready to go. He likes to work and that's the shame of it."

Searching for a spot to race Admiral's Express, Sayfie and his partners, his wife, Cheryl, and Gary and Laurel Gust, even sought out Hazel Park in his home state. Although Admiral's Express has made 232 starts over his career that has seen him earn more than $1.2 million and is owned by four Michiganders, he had made only three starts at the suburban Detroit track, the latest being Sept. 30, 2000, when he finished sixth in an Invitational Pace.

Hazel Park race secretary Ladd Biro found a spot for Admiral's Express in a $12,600 Invite June 4, and the "Gray Gladiator" found the track to his liking as he won in 1:52. He returned to Woodbine the following week where he captured an Open Pace in 1:48.2, which was the fastest mile clocked in 2005 until equaled last weekend by Dr. No in the Haughton Memorial at the Meadowlands. Admiral's Express then won again on June 18 at Mohawk, his last start.

"He's a true gladiator; they nicknamed him right," said Sayfie of the moniker given the gray Admirals Galley gelding by Woodine/Mohawk track announcer Frank Salive. "He just keeps on surprising us. Whatever he does is all extra stuff on his plate. I don't know what else he can accomplish. I keep saying that the USTA might have to write the records page to age 17. It's uncanny what he is doing. Even if I didn't own him I would be his hugest fan."

Sayfie added that a 2-year-old full sister to Admiral's Express named Preference, who he purchased for $16,000 last year as a yearling, is scheduled to make her first qualifying appearance Saturday, July 16, at Mohawk. He said Preference is eventually headed to Michigan to compete on the fair circuit.

"I bought her as a potential broodmare down the road being a full sister to him," he said. "She'll be a racehorse at first but then she'll be in my broodmare band, which is small but good. We have hopes for her."

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