Leaving On My Mind Wins Middleground, Aud Placed First in Yellow Rose at Lone Star Park

(October 3, 2004)- Leaving On My Mind closed strongly under an advantageous ride by jockey Roman Chapa to win the Middleground Stakes, one of two $100,000 Breeders’ Cup-funded contests staged Sunday at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. It was 1 ¼ lengths back to Ready Ruler, who led into the stretch but couldn’t sustain his run.

Leaving On My Mind, a Texas-bred son of Valid Expectations, was able to settle early in the rear of a closely bunched pack that raced together through in early stages of the one-mile event for 2-year-old colts and geldings.

“I had the horse a little too sharp today,” trainer Danny Pish said. “Due to Roman riding a very good race and the other riders riding tightly, it allowed Roman to get him back. If they’d been fanned out going into the first turn, we would’ve probably gotten beat.”

Ready Ruler had a clean trip along the rail and looked like a winner at the top of the stretch.

“He’s the kind of horse you have to stay after or he stops and I think I inherited the lead a little too early in the middle of the turn,” jockey Jeremy Beasley said. “I definitely think I had more horse than I showed in that race.”

Leaving On My Mind paid $11.20 for a $2 win ticket. The third win in nine starts for George Wolff’s homebred boosted Leaving On My Mind’s career earnings to $193,373.

One race later in the Yellow Rose for older fillies and mares, 53-1 longshot My Misty Princess ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.41, and finished 1 ¾ lengths in front of graded stakes winner Aud. But inside the final furlong marker, she darted to the inside rail and impeded fourth-place finisher Queena Corrina, resulting in a disqualification to fourth.

Aud, the 2-1 second betting choice, headed race favorite Janeian for second and was promoted to first as a result of the steward’s decision.

“You get lucky every now and then in this business,” said Aud’s jockey Calvin Borel. “I hate to see another horse come down, but the stewards made the right decision. The winner really, really bothered [Queena Corrina].”

“In the stretch, she just went for the inside,” said Jamie Theriot, who was aboard My Misty Princess. “I hit her underhanded a little, but she wasn’t lugging in or anything; she just went left to the rail. It’s too bad because she ran big.”

Aud, owned by Willmott Stables and trained by Tony Reinstedler, won for the first time since capturing the Pucker Up Stakes (Gr. III) in September of 2003. She paid $6.20 for her fifth win in 18 starts. The $60,000 winner’s share of purse boosted her earnings to $348,022.

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