Sunday, July 18, 1999

Pleasant Temper rolls on RD grass

Witchful Thinking settles for second

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Slight favorite Pleasant Temper cruised to her 10th career victory Saturday in the $125,000 River Downs Breeders' Cup.

        The 5-year-old mare, ridden by Larry Melancon, defeated second choice Witchful Thinking by two lengths in 1:41 for the 1 1/16 miles, two-fifths off the turf course record for the 81/2-furlong distance.

        “We were worried about Witchful Thinking, thinking she might get away from us on the front,” winning trainer Elliott Walden said of his pre-race instructions to Melancon. “The one thing I told him was not to try to sneak up on that filly. When you got to her, go on by.”

        Melancon heeded Walden.

        The jockey settled behind the top three leaders for the first six furlongs and then asked Pleasant Temper to run around the final turn. She responded willingly and passed both Antoinette and Witchful Thinking as they straightened for home.

        “As long as Witchful Thinking wasn't by herself,” Melancon said, “I felt good. We were always within striking distance. When I called on her, she exploded.”

        Pleasant Temper and Witchful Thinking, co-high weighted at 119 pounds, both went off a 2-1 odds with Pleasant Temper having a few more dollars in the betting pools. She returned $6 for a $2 win mutuel.

        Storming Up, Quick Lap and Cuanto Es were scratched, reducing the field of fillies and mares to nine.

        Owner Mark Stanley of Lexington, Ky., purchased Pleasant Temper as a 2-year-old in training for $150,000. He gave his mother, Sara, half-interest as a Christmas present.

        Pleasant Temper increased her career earnings to $522,889 from 28 starts, including 6-for-12 on grass. The daughter Storm Cat is on course for a berth in the inaugural $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf Nov. 6 at Gulfstream Park.

        “Elliott has done a wonderful job with this mare; she's taken some work,” Stanley said. “We've won the second richest race at River Downs this year, and hopefully we'll be back to win the Cradle Stakes (on Labor Day) with an unstarted 2-year-old named Three Wonders.”

        Stanley almost retired Pleasant Temper last year because she was erratic. “Elliot talked me into giving it one more chance,” Stanley said. “She's run well this year. I'm not too disappointed with anything she's done. I like watching her run and mom enjoys it.”

        Walden also trains Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Menifee and last year's Triple Crown upsetter and Belmont winner Victory Gallop.

        He also trains all of Stanley horses. “Stanley and I have a good time together,” Walden said. “He has a good perspective on the industry. He looks to have fun whether we win or whether we lose.”

        But it's always nice to win.

        • In an earlier race Saturday, Cincinnatian Judy Klosterman's Naughty remained undefeated by turning back the challenge of previously undefeated Buckys Brat in the $100,000 Queen City Oaks, restricted to Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies.

        The Jim Morgan trainee recorded her fourth consecutive wire-to-wire victory, covering the 1 miles on the main track in 1:53.


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