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Zirito Back on Winning Track at ‘Doc’ James

July 23, 2007 — Zirito got back in the winner’s circle Sunday with a hard-fought victory over newcomer Crafty Smile.
The Randall “Doc” James track’s feature race of the day, a distance of seven furlongs for a $4,200 purse, was as exciting as they come, as Zirito and Crafty put on a show in their battle to the wire. In the end Sunday, Zirito, with jockey Miguel Sanchez in the irons, proved to be the better horse. He was able to pull away slightly at the wire to win by a long neck.
Crafty Smile, the speedy new kid on the block, with Christian Soto aboard, showed a lot of promise in his debut in the territory, but could not deny Zirito on Sunday.
At the break, Carson Secrets and jockey Jesus Guadelupe were first out of the gates. But Crafty Smile soon showed his much-heralded speed by rushing to the front of the three-horse field. By the time they got to the clubhouse turn, Crafty Smile had already put two lengths between himself and his rivals.
As they ran down the backstretch, Crafty Smile opened up his biggest advantage, leading by three lengths at the half-mile marker. As the field approached the three-eight poles, Zirito and Carson Secrets began to make their move. But it was obvious Zirito was moving best of the two trailers, and he quickly closed the gap on Crafty Smile, with Carson Secrets struggling to keep up.
At the top of the stretch it was now a two-horse race between Zirito and Crafty Smile. Based on his past performances, most would have expected the sprinting Crafty Smile to throw in the towel at any moment. But he and jockey Soto had other ideas.
Zirito gained the advantage midway down the stretch, but Crafty Smile battled back gamely on the inside to the delight of the grandstand patrons, now on their feet and cheering as the horses approached the wire. It was obvious that Zirito’s jockey, Sanchez, had Crafty Smile and Soto measured.
While Soto had Crafty Smile under the whip for most of the stretch drive, Sanchez was getting more than enough from his mount with just hand urging. He cruised under the wire by a confident neck ahead of the speedster. Carson Secrets, former V.I. champ, finished a distant third. Zirito negotiated the seven-furlong distance in a time of 1:27.2.
In the fourth race on the card, a seven-furlong race for top native-bred thoroughbreds, Guavaberry Star destroyed a six-horse field by some 10 lengths as she gets in shape for a rematch with current native champ Fantastic Four some time in the near future. With jockey Marlon Edwin aboard, Guavaberry Star negotiated the seven-furlong distance in a time of 1:30.1 to take home the lion’s share of the $3,200 purse.
Coming in second was Queen Mary, with Elmo Barnes in the irons, who outdueled Quelbe Queen and jockey Miguel Sanchez in the stretch.
The rest of the day’s results:
Race 1 2 F Class H, Jockey
Time: 22.2
1. Beyonce, Edgar Walker
2. Every Dollar Count, Alphonso Claudio (dead heat)
2. Fifty Cents, Isail Acosta (dead heat)

Race 2 4 ½ F Class G
Time: 58.4
1. Fantasia, Elmo Barnes
2. Precious Gold, Jesus Guadelupe
3. Mario Candelario, Alphonso Claudio

Race 3 7 F Class F(1)
Time: 1:30.3
1. Betty Rae, Alphonso Claudio
2. Amazing Cat, Miguel Sanchez
3. Gold Return, Jovanni Vasquez
Race 4 7 F Class F(2)
Time: 1:30.1
1. Guavaberry Star, Marlon Edwin
2. Queen Mary, Elmo Barnes
3. Quelbe Queen, Miguel Sanchez

Race 5 6 F Class E
Time: 1:14.1
1. Marfin Express, Jesus Guadelupe
2. Sarazen’s Blade, Elmo Barnes
3. She’s Got the Helm, Marlon Edwin

Race 6 7 F Classes D&E
Time: 1:28.2
1. Formally Cat, Jesus Guadelupe
2. Caribbean Colony, Elmo Barnes
3. Tulsa Boy, Miguel Sanchez

Race 8 7/1-2 F Classes C
Time: 1:36.1
1. Danzig Mon, Junior Inirio
2. My Dream Team, Miguel Sanchez
3. Secrets Flying, Jesus Guadelupe
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