Cupid Season Comes Early for Trainer Iwinski
Valentine's Day is still two weeks away, but trainer Allen Iwinski is busting out the bow and arrow early when he saddles Cupid Season in Saturday's $75,0000 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct, the feature of the day's 10-race card.
Iwinski has trained Guerino Antonini's Cupid Season for about a year now after claiming her for $35,000 at Gulfstream last February. Her five wins in nine starts since the claim have largely come against weaker competition than she will face Saturday, but she has seemingly improved with each start.
"When we claimed her, I was sure she was a distance horse," said Iwinski who watched Cupid Season get beat nine lengths twice going long off the claim. "I was wrong and we went back to sprinting."
After returning to sprint distances, she won a claiming race at Delaware Park and two starts later embarked on a four-race win streak, that included the Just Smashing Stakes at The Meadowlands.
The Correction won'tbe all candy hearts for Cupid Season. Richard Dutrow Jr., has entered two strong challengers in the Interborough winner Fit Performer and She's Zealous, who was just beaten at 2-5 in a third-level allowance race by Correction rival Chirimoya.
"I don'tlike to run my horses against each other, but I don't think this is a very tough race," Dutrow said. "Either one could win."
Jay Em Ess Stable's She's Zealous has run some big allowance races in the past-ones that would be good enough to win the Correction-but she has also faltered as the favorite on several occasions, including her last start.
"I wasn't really happy with her last race," Dutrow said. "She had a chance to win turning for home. I don't think she ran her best race that day, but she came out of it well and has trained well since."
Fit Performer, owned by Steel Your Face Stables, has improved tremendously since she was claimed for $25,000 last March. She won a couple of races over the summer. Her biggest triumph was easily her last start when she scored a 6 1/4-length win in the Interborough.
The field for the $75,000 Correction Handicap includes:
1-- She's Zealous (Mike Luzzi, 113)
2-- Literary Light (Javier Castellano, 114)
3-- Fit Performer (Julian Pimentel, 117)
4-- Reine des Neiges (Roberto Rosado, 115)
5-- Elegant Designer (Norberto Arroyo Jr., 116)
6-- Bonefide Reason (Shaun Bridgmohan, 112)
7 -- Balmy (Stewart Elliott, 116)
8 -- Chirimoya (Tim Thornton, 113)
9-- Cupid Season (C.C. Lopez, 116)