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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Bodes Well wins the Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes in bizarre finish

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.--Bodes Well won the $70,000, 2 1/16 mile Jonathan Kiser Novice Stakes at Saratoga on July 28 after The Mean Queen, leading by over 6 lengths in the stretch, shied at jockey Tom Garner's whip and lost her rider.

Bodes Well wins Kiser after The Mean Queen loses Tom Garner 5Bodes Well wins the Jonathan Kiser after The Mean Queen loses Tom Garner (Photo by Tod Marks)Bodes Well, owned by Silverton Hill LLC, trained by Leslie Young and ridden by Gerard Galligan, won by 4 1/2 lengths over Riverdee Stable's City Dreamer, trained by Jack Fisher and ridden by Jamie Bargery, with Mrs. George Ohrstrom's Arch My Boy, trained by Richard Valentine and ridden by Barry Foley, third by a nose.

"I'm delighted," said Young. "Obviously, the best horse on the day was in front (when Garner fell off). I feel badly for Tom, but I'm tickled for the horse. He's such a trier and an honest horse."


YOUNG SAID she was particularly pleased for Bodes Well's owners.

"Silverton was the reason I got my trainer's license," said Young. "Tommy and Bonny Hamilton of Springfield, Ky., told me they would have a horse for me if I got my license."

"Gerard gave him a beautiful ride, and the horse jumped for fun," said Young. "He was carrying 10 pounds more than The Mean Queen, and that means so much in Saratoga."

Bodes Well led through most of the race until The Mean Queen caught and passed him on the final turn.

"Today is a very special day," said Young. "I want to dedicate this race to the owners, to my staff for their hard work and dedication and to Jonathan and Cathy Sheppard. The Sheppards let me rent Ashwell, so it's fun to have a horse from Ashwell win at Saratoga."

"I don't know whether I'll send Bodes Well to the Jonathan Sheppard (formerly the New York Turf Writers)," said Young.

"That's racing for you," said The Mean Queen's trainer, Keri Brion, who was on her was to saddling her second consecutive stakes winner at Saratoga in her first year as a trainer, having previously been Sheppard's assistant trainer.

"Tom went to hit her, and she shied away from the whip," said Brion. "He didn't need to hit her. She's a really, really nice mare, and she was just coasting in front. But Tom knows. He's as upset as anyone. I'm not going to jock him off for that, He won't do it again."

"The Mean Queen seemed okay after the race, but we'll have to wait a couple of days to make sure," said Brion of the mare who ran off after losing her rider.

"I was told the race was six seconds faster than the Smithwick," said Brion, who won that race with Baltimore Bucko.

Baltimore Bucko won the Smithwick in 3:56.49, and Bodes Well won the Novice Stakes in 3:51.34, and of course if The Mean Queen had gone under the wire with a rider on her back, it would have been even faster as she was 6 1/2 lengths in front when she lost her rider.

"I'm thinking of running her in the Sheppard if the novice race the week after looks like it may not fill," said Brion.

If she does run the mare, that would give her a powerhouse entry in Baltimore Bucko, French Light and The Mean Queen in the G1 Jonathan Sheppard Stakes on Aug. 18..

"It makes me sick to have to run them against each other," said Brion.

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