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Sires Stakes Battle Renewed In Lismore

Published: May 30, 2012 5:10 pm ET

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The $176,484 Lismore Pace for three-year-old pacing fillies will go to the gate on Saturday with five starters at Yonkers Raceway. The race, named for Yonkers President Tim Rooney’s stakes-winning and Hall of Fame broodmare Lismore, is shaping up as a faceoff between the 2011 New York Sire Stakes final winner, Handsoffmycookie, and runner-up JK Fine Art.

For JK Fine Art, there was a measure of revenge when she beat Handsoffmycookie in a New York-sired race at Vernon Downs on May 19 by a neck in a career-best 1:52.4.

“We moved on to the lead in a very slow quarter and then Jimmy [Morrill] just really drove a smart race,” said trainer Linda Toscano. “There was one [horse] on the outside and no passing lane at Vernon. We might have kept [Handsoffmycookie] hemmed in just a little longer than she needed to get out. But [JK Fine Art] really raced good; she dug when the other filly came to her and she beat her and I couldn’t be happier.”

JK Fine Art, owned by William Jacobowitz and the 3 Brothers Stable of Alan, Ronald and Steven Katz, raced nine times last year, with five wins, all in New York-sired events. Toscano said they may go further afield with the daughter of Art Major-Presidential Lady this year.

“We have her staked outside New York, but she’ll tell us,” Toscano said. “She’s a half-mile track specialist, I think. We paid her into the Valley Forge and I think we paid her into a couple others, but the bottom line is I always let them tell me where they belong.

“If she’s just a great New York sired-horse, that’s great. Her grand dam is Mardis Crown and I trained her, but they only have colour in common.”

Toscano said the Lismore is a major goal for the Brooklyn-based Katz brothers.

“This is the race they want,” she said. “They won it last year with JK Owhatanite and this is home. They love any of the races at the Yonkers – that’s home.”

JK Fine Art, who earned $163,515 last season, got a few months off at the end of last year at Cameo Hills Farm in New York and then started back to work after January 1.

“She was a very sound horse, very handy and one of those horses that if she didn’t get in with 'Cookie', she won a lot of her starts,” Toscano said. “I think she was just second best at the end of the year. She came out as good as she went in and we decided not to send her to Lexington or any of the later races last year and hopefully, she’ll appreciate that.”

Following is the field in post position order for Saturday’s $176,484 Lismore Pace at Yonkers:

1. Ryder Blue Chip – Jason Bartlett, Tony Alagna, 15-1
2. Handsoffmycookie – Tim Tetrick, Scott DiDomenico, 3-5
3. JK Fine Art – Jim Morrill Jr., Linda Toscano 5-1
4. Jamie Sue – Mark MacDonald, Mard Ford, 6-1
5. Bettor B Lucky - George Brennan, Noel Daley, 10-1


This story courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, visit www.ustrotting.com.

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