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I Fought Dalaw looks to shine in Nassagaweya

August 19, 2011

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The fastest freshman so far this season is the Cosmo 'Sam' DePinto-trained I Fought Dalaw and on Thursday morning, the pacer will venture to Ontario from New Jersey to compete in his $113,892 division of the Nassagaweya Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack on Saturday evening.

The son of Western Ideal-In For Life is undefeated in four career appearances, boasts a mark of 1:50.4 and is good for $111,600 in rookie earnings.

DePinto admits he hasn’t had much opportunity to add a few more races to I Fought Dalaw's resume nor train his pacer to his liking.

“He’s coming off from being sick,” said the Cream Ridge, New Jersey resident. “He was sick after his last start in the Arden at The
Meadows and that’s why I didn’t race him for three weeks. I wanted to give him a start prior to this Saturday, but I didn’t get a chance to do it.

“A week ago Tuesday he had a temperature of 102 degrees, so I didn’t get the work into him like I would want to. I trained him on Monday and he trained well and I will train him back Wednesday a decent mile."

DePinto, who has trained such standout pacers as We Will See ($1,485,034) and Artesian ($987,884), will carry some added pressure into Saturday night.

“There is always pressure anytime you race that caliber of a horse in those kind of races," he said. "I’m not sure how sharp he’s going to be. He’ll put on a good showing, but this is only a stepping stone to the Metro next week.”

The Metro Pace is a race the conditioner has never won, but he wouldn’t be surprised if I Fought Dalaw found the winner’s circle. He believes his bay has a very good chance.

With some of the continents top freshmen pacing colts competing on Saturday in preparation for the $1 million Metro Pace on September 3, DePinto has his eye on the competition.

“I’m worried about every one of them,” he laughed. “Any two-year-old can turn loose and go the best mile of their careers, you just don’t know. I can just do the best I can and get my colt prepared and just hope for the best, that’s all I’ve been doing and so far it’s been working.”

Racing in Canada has proven to be very successful for the veteran trainer over the years. Last year, DePinto saw We Will See capture his North America Cup elimination before finishing second in the $1.5 million final.

In 2003, also in the NA Cup, Artesian finished second in his elimination and was second in a dead-heat in the rich final.

“Canada has been very good to me. If it wasn’t so darn cold up there in the winter, I would move there,” DePinto joked.

DePinto has had his fair share of successful horses over his career, but I Fought Dalaw may top them all.

“He could be [the best horse I’ve ever trained],” he said. “At this point in time, he’s definitely the best horse I’ve ever trained. The miles that he’s put in this early in the year are so  DePinto admits that he’s eagerly anticipating the $1 million Metro at the Campbellville oval.

“Honestly, I’m looking forward to the Metro because I haven’t pushed on the gas yet in his training miles, but that’s going to change next week,” he said. “He’ll get pushed more next week and we might see his best effort yet.”

Before I Fought Dalaw can capture the richest race for freshmen pacers on September 3, he’ll have to deal with his seven rivals this Saturday when he lines up behind the gate in the first division for owners Shannon DePinto, Michael Parisi and Theresa and Jerry Silva. (WEG)

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