Valid Scores Runner-Up Finish in Grade I Donn, & Other Virginia-Bred Triumphs

Virginia-bred Valid took a respectable second a week ago in the $500,000, Grade I Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park.The 6 year old Medaglia d’Oro gelding finished two lengths behind Todd Pletcher’s Mshawish, who could appear next in the Dubai World Cup in March. Bred by Edward Evans, Valid was bumped several times by Financial Responsibility early in the stake but still maintained second throughout. The winner, another a son of Medaglia d’Oro, came on in the stretch to beat Valid for the second straight time — the pair finished one-two in January’s Grade III Hal’s Hope Stakes, also at Gulfstream.

Trainer Marcus Vitali (L) and Jockey Nik Juarez celebrate in the Winners Circle at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey on Sunday August 30, 2015, after Juarez guided the Vitali trained Valid to victory in the $150,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes.  Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Valid’s connections are Trainer Marcus Vitali (L) and Jockey Nik Juarez, who are shown celebrating at Monmouth Park last August after winning the $150,000 Philip H. Iselin Stakes. Photo By Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

A year ago, Valid won the Grade III Fred Hooper Stakes, which is part of the Donn undercard. This year, the Althea Richards bred Just Call Kenny competed in the Hooper but settled for fifth. The 5 year old Jump Start horse took a brief lead in the final turn before giving way in the stretch.

Desert Jewel, bred by the Morgan’s Ford Farm, captured a $28,500 maiden special weight six furlong race the same week at Penn National. Trained by Mike Salvaggio, the 3 year old daughter of Include went three wide in the turn from 4th, reached the front with 1/16th of a mile to go and crossed solidly in 1:12.53. Desert Jewel is out of the Kafwain mare, Desert Trail. The picture is courtesy of B & D Photography.

Desert Jewel captures a maiden special weight race at Penn National February 5th. Photo by B & D Photography.

Desert Jewel captures a maiden special weight race at Penn National February 5th. Photo by B & D Photography.

Virginia breeder & owner Larry Johnson had a pair of fillies score in maiden special weight company over the last week  — his 4 year old Clockstrucktwelve won a $40,000 six furlong sprint February 8th at Laurel while 3 year old Street Miz captured a 6 1/2 furlong race at Charles Town February 6th. Mike Trombetta trains the pair, who were both sent off as heavy betting favorites. The former is by Malibu Moon out of the Partner’s Hero mare, What Time It Is, while the latter is by Street Boss out of the Mizzen Mast mare, Miz Magician.

The Larry Johnson bred Clockstrucktwelve won in gate to wire fashion at Laurel Park February 8th. Photo by Jim McCue.

The Larry Johnson bred Clockstrucktwelve won in gate to wire fashion at Laurel Park February 8th. Photo by Jim McCue.