EF Five Wins Rematch in Aspen Stakes

Category : News - Thu 04/07/2013 - 10:19 EDT

In a rematch of past winners, 2011 champ E F Five managed to withstand the charge of 2012 winner Wally Van to capture the $35,000 Aspen Stakes on Saturday. A feature race for Colorado-breds, the Aspen was run over six furlongs on the Arapahoe Park dirt track. The race featured a gathering of some of most consistent campaigners at the Denver track, as the field also included Tulsa Te and Dance to the Star. Between them the four horses have claimed 17 stakes victories in their careers.

EF Five makes every call a winning one

Breaking from the 7-post, jockey Kelly Bridges hustled EF Five right to the front, and the six-year-old son of Oliver’s Twist set blazing fractions of 21.1 for the quarter and 43.4 for the half in taking a one-length lead. Wally Van had sat comfortably just off the pace, riding the three path, until being set down for a charge at the top of the straight. The defending champ was willing and steadily closed ground on the leader, but couldn’t quite get there under the urging of Michael Ziegler. Magical Twist finished third.

Battle heats up between top Colorado-breds

The race was something of a replay of the 2012 event, but in that case, Wally Van had managed to overtake EF Five in the final strides, scoring a 16-1 upset in the process and justifying his selection as the top Colorado bred of 2011. The wire-to-wire victory by EF Five upped that one’s record to seven wins in 21 starts, while Wally Van sits at a near-identical eight wins in 23 starts, including five stakes victories in the past two years.  Next up for the Colorado-breds at Arapahoe is the Mount Elbert Stakes, where EF Five defends the title.

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