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Vineyard Haven Wins US Gr1 Frank De Francis Dash
In the US, Godolphin's star 3YO colt Vineyard Haven (Lido Palace-Princess Aloha, by Aloha Prospector) scored a half-length victory over his older rivals in the US$300,000 Gr1 Frank De Francis Memorial Dash (6 furlongs) at Laurel Park in Maryland. Despite being the only 3YO in the field, Vineyard Haven (ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor) started favourite & defeated 5YO gelding Ravalo (Mutakddim-Momentary Hope, by Southern Halo) & front-running 6YO gelding Fleet Valid (Montbrook-Di's Song, by Valid Appeal). At his previous start, Florida-bred Vineyard Haven returned from a 6-months spell & was 1st-across-the-line but relegated by stewards to runner-up for causing interference in the closing stages of August's Gr1 King's Bishop Stakes (7 furlongs) at Saratoga. Overall Vineyard Haven ("purchased privately for a reported US$12 million by Godolphin late last year" noted bloodhorse.com) now has 4 wins (also including 2008's Gr1 Champagne Stakes over 8 furlongs at Belmont Park & Gr1 Hopeful Stakes over 7 furlongs at Saratoga) & 2 placings (also including 2008's Gr2 Sanford Stakes over 6 furlongs at Saratoga) from 7 starts for US$671,500 earnings.