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Double play

By Phil Janack
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Today's early daily double at Saratoga was swept by some local connections.

In the opener, Senor Fuego was dropped in for a $35,000 tag, went off as the 2-5 favorite and romped by 9 3/4 lengths, going gate to wire in 1:22.75 for seven furlongs under jockey Ramon Dominguez.

Winless in three allowance tries since breaking his maiden in May, Senor Fuego was owned by Starlight Partners, which is managed by Schenectady native Don Lucarelli and Saratoga Springs resident Jack Wolf. Purchased for $130,000 at Fasig-Tipton's 2007 Saratoga yearling sales, he earned $52,140 in purses.

The 3-year-old Speightstown colt was claimed out of the race by trainer Mike Maker.

"Maybe he needed the lead all this time, and we just didn't know it," Lucarelli said afterward. "He's a horse that just didn't fit our program, so put him in for a tag to sort of get rid of the overhead of it. "We have partners that we're obligated to, so we've got to do what's the best business decision for the horse and our program. He'll fit somebody's program well."

It was the first win at Saratoga since 2007 for Lucarelli.

"Believe me, we're happy about that," he said. "Hopefully, we're not done at the meet."

Today's second race was won by Zodiac Girl, trained by Mechanicville native Chad Brown. A 2-year-old Aldebaran filly making her race debut, Zodiac Girl went off at 7-1, beating favored Ms. Thanksgiving by three lengths and paying $16. It was Brown's fourth win this summer.

 
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