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Velvet Eileen Scores After Layoff

January 26, 2008

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Velvet Eileen showed no signs of rust when returning from a four-week layoff on Friday to take the featured $14,000 Fillies and Mares Open Handicap pace at Pompano Park in 1:53.1, although it took a tight three-horse win photo to determine the winner.


Starting from post four with Wally Hennessey at the controls, Velvet Eileen settled in fourth place through the early stages of the race as Queens Gambit N (Dale Hiteman) took the field, in post-position order, through an opening quarter mile in :28.


Queens Gambit N continued to pace on the lead through middle fractions of :56 and 1:24.1, turning back the first-over bid of wagering favorite Up Front Lady (Ricky Macomber Jr.) before entering the lane with a 1 1/4-length advantage.


Queens Gambit N surrendered the top spot to Montana Moonlite A (Dan Clements) in mid-stretch as that one vacated the pocket to take the lead, but was unable to hold off Velvet Eileen, who was angled four-wide to close down the center of the track, reaching the front in the final yards while holding off Catalina Morgan (David Ingraham) to prevail by a head at the wire.


Velvet Eileen returned $10.80, $6.20, and $3.60 for the victory. Catalina Morgan brought in $7.60 and $5.00 for second, while Montana Moonlite A paid $11.20 for third.


Owned by Rod Lorenzo, Ciro Gentile, and Pomtambo Stable, Velvet Eileen is a 5-year-old daughter of Mark Johnathan, out of the Jate Lobell mare Velvet Viking. The Michile Lorenzo trainee has prevailed in 21 of her 66 lifetime starts, with a career bankroll of $193,059. (Pompano Park)


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