Sunday, February 23, 2003

Ohio-bred Holiday wins Grade I Donn Handicap



The Enquirer and wire reports

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Favorite Harlan's Holiday mounted a charge on the far turn under John Velazquez to beat Hero's Tribute by 2½ lengths Saturday in the $500,000 Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.

"He overcame a lot," trainer Todd Pletcher said. "Naturally, I was concerned about the (11) post position, but Johnny got him out of there in good order and was right where I hoped he'd be.

"When they came under the wire the first time, I was confident he was going to win it. It's great to have a horse with tactical speed who can finish as strong."

As expected, Keats took the lead from the start with Hero's Tribute second and Harlan's Holiday fourth. Harlan's Holiday caught the leaders at the 3/16ths pole before taking a short lead from Keats at the eighth pole.

Harlan's Holiday pulled away at the sixteenth pole, beating Hero's Tribute, who finished 1½ lengths in front of Puzzlement.

"We had a perfect trip," Velazquez said. "He broke well, and I was able to get good position right away. The post could have been a problem, but it didn't turn out to be. When I asked him at the quarter pole, he responded in a big way."

The Ohio-bred champion ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:49 and paid $6.40, $4 and $3.20.

In addition to the Donn, Harlan's Holiday's other Grade 1 wins include the 2002 Florida Derby and the 2002 Blue Grass Stakes. He finished second by a nose to Booklet in the 2002 Fountain of Youth Stakes and was unplaced in the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Breeders' Cup Classic.

• At Laurel, Md., Xtra Heat won the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes, establishing herself as the leading female winner of stakes races in North America.

TURFWAY PARK: The Florence track was forced to cancel its 12-race card Saturday because of track condition. This marks the eighth straight card and 10th overall lost since Jan. 1. Saturday's Valdale Stakes, has been rescheduled for March 1 on the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes card.




UC BEARCATS
UC 101, No. 4 Louisville 80
Daugherty: If they're satisfied, they're not saying
Cronin coaches vs. former team

XAVIER
Xavier occupies top spot all alone
Dayton sends extra troops to stop West near basket

OTHER COLLEGE HOOPS
Wildcats are again wary of Bulldogs
RedHawks suffer costly loss in big win
Boilermakers thumped by Bucks, blasted by Keady
Top 25 roundup: No. 1 Arizona blows out State
UConn coach back on bench
Norse rebound with win over Indianapolis
Indy women top NKU, clinch GLVC crown

REDS / SPRING TRAINING
Most empty-handed after ticket grab
Hudson, Guillen must show they are worthy
Hitting is catch for prospect Sardinha
Rule 5 gamble could pay off
Reds Q&A
Wells won't stop using weight-loss supplements
Young slugger impressing the Mets

BENGALS / SCOUTING COMBINE
Bengals study free agents
Newsome likes Lewis' system
Bengals Q&A
Rogers, Lions would be great fit
No QB competition for Rams - it's Warner

PREP SPORTS
Ohio boys games
Ohio girls games
Kentucky games
Kentucky district pairings
Title games will be televised
Vieth era at St. Henry's winds down
Lakota West's Sartini wins the all-around title
Bombers bag 5th straight state title
Ursuline's three-year title reign stopped
Surging St. Xavier earns district title behind seniors
Cooper, Fassbender win titles
Graham, Versailles triumph
Prep sports results
Prep sports schedules

BOXING
Tyson wins first-round knockout
Tonya Harding loses in pro debut

HORSE RACING
Ohio-bred Holiday wins Grade I Donn Handicap

GOLF
Charles charges to 3-stroke lead in Nissan
Augusta supporters seek protest permits

TRISTATE SPOTLIGHT
Clary sisters are aces for Xavier's program
C'mon, baby, light the lamp
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio