CLEAR VISION SCORES IN LAUREL FEATURE
Cheyenne Stables’ stakes-placed Clear Vision, cut back in distance after being stretched out in his previous start, collared favored pacesetter Dundalk in mid-stretch and surged past to win Sunday’s feature at Laurel Park.
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Ridden by Jorge Ruiz for trainer Jerry O’Dwyer, Clear Vision ($11.20) earned his third win from nine career starts and second in three tries at 1 1/16 miles in the third-level optional claiming allowance for 3-year-olds and up. The winning time was 1:43.73 over a Dahlia turf course labeled good.
“I was worried that Dundalk was going to get an easy lead,” O’Dwyer said. “He seemed to be the only lead on paper, but I was glad to see a couple pressure him a little bit and it played to our advantage.”
Dundalk was hustled to the front by jockey Horacio Karamanos and led through fractions of 24.10 and 47.96 seconds pressed to his outside by Lil Commissioner with Lagom in the clear three wide and Clear Vision saving ground along the rail. Ruiz sent Clear Vision through an opening to launch his bid on the turn and move into second after six furlongs went in 1:11.12, straightened for home with sights set on the leader, drew even and then pulled clear to win by 1 ½ lengths as Gunnison got up late for second.
Clear Vision, a 4-year-old son of Grade 1 turf winner Artie Schiller who ran third in the Parx Fall Derby last October, won an entry-level allowance going 1 1/16 miles Aug. 29 at Laurel, but finished a non-threatening fifth in a second-level spot going 1 1/8 miles Sept. 25 at Pimlico Race Course in his previous start.
“He ran a decent race at Pimlico. I think his undoing up there was the softer ground. It helped him here today, stepping back the sixteenth in distance and the firmer surface I think was key to his victory,” O’Dwyer said. “I think Pimlico was a little too soft for him. He’s a nice horse on good ground or better, good to firm.
“I think Pimlico was a bit too testing for him and the mile and an eighth just stretched his stamina a little bit, as well,” he added. “I tried riding him a bit closer a few times and it didn’t work so now I just tell the jockey to relax on him early and he can just start creeping up and after that he seems to like passing horses.”