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One Mile and Nine-Sixteenths on Grass=New World Record

When Hawthorne’s eighth race is declared official, a new world record will be established for a turf race run at one mile and nine-sixteenths, shattering....rather, inaugurating what is apparently the first attempt at this unusual distance.

The Deux-Moulins Starter Handicap, named after the Dave Feldman owned and trained marathon specialist, was carded as a labor of love by Hawthorne’s Racing Secretary Gary Duch, sort of a tribute to races of yesteryear.

 “It’s not like it used to be, that’s for sure. Growing up I always loved the long-distance races. As far as I’m concerned the longer the better,” explained Duch.

 The race had little trouble filling as a full field of twelve is scheduled to go postward, including such hard knockers as Cosmo, Devil In Excess and the eight-year old, Image.

 Image is trained by Richard Scherer who, like most of the trainers in this race, is concerned mostly about winning, although Scherer politely added it wouldn’t hurt the breeders of future offspring from the Image family tree, if they could advertise “Image, earner of over $300,000 and new track record holder.”

 Whether or not this race is carded next year is yet to be determined, but Duch hopes it becomes a staple of the Hawthorne Fall Meet. “The response to the race was good this year, but we’ll see how it plays out and go from there.”

The old saying “records are made to be broken” may not apply to the Deux-Moulins Starter Handicap, but if Mr. Duch has his way, it sure will next year.

Miss Power Puff Stakes

Two-year old fillies will get a shot at an overnight stakes race, as eight do battle in the six furlong Miss Power Puff Stakes, named after the 1989 winner of the Gold Digger Stakes.

The likely post-time favorite will be Stonerside Stable’s Zuella, a convincing allowance winner on October 11. The daughter of Forestry will be ridden by Paul Nolan and is trained by Mike Stidham, who hopes the homebred’s most recent performance is a sign of things to come.

“Up until that last race she hadn’t shown us too much, but hopefully she turned a corner and the arrow continues to point upward,” said Stidham. “This looks like a good spot to get her some black type before we head to the Fairgrounds.”

Other contenders include La Wildcat, already stakes placed at The Meadowlands; Capricious, from the dangerous Steve Asmussen barn; and Three Graces, a sharp maiden winner in her most recent start here at Hawthorne, all figure prominently in today’s co-feature.

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