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Normís Nephew seeks Independence Day triumph


July 3, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Michael Costanzo
Auburn, WA (June 30) - Gunshy Manor and Leona Orr's Norm's
Nephew headlines a group of seven older males that will assemble for the 72nd running of the $40,000 Independence Day Handicap, the fourth stop on the Longacres Mile trail.

A four-time winner at Emerald Downs, Norm's Nephew finished third in the FSN Handicap in his seasonal debut before returning with a second-place performance in the Budweiser Emerald Handicap. In 2005, Norm's Nephew put together a three-race winning streak that culminated with a three-length triumph in the Pepsi-Cola Handicap. Norm's Nephew is highweighted at 119 pounds for the Independence Day Handicap and will have the riding services of Kevin Krigger. The St. Croix native won this
race last year aboard Poker Brad.

Sue and Lyle Malick's Confidential Call will contest the Independence Day Handicap for trainer Jim Penney. The 4-year-old son of True Confidence is undefeated in two starts this year, most recently scoring in a $25,000 optional claiming allowance when stretched out to a mile.

In 2005, Confidential Call visited the winner's circle just once, but
the gelding finished second in both the Seattle Slew Breeders' Cup
Handicap and the Trooper Seven Stakes, and was third in the Tacoma Handicap.

Roscoe Pito leads the Independence Day entrants in earnings, having banked over $550,000 in his career. The 6-year-old son of Light of Mine is a seven-time stakes winner, including a two-length victory in the 2003 Emerald Breeders' Cup Derby. The gelding returned to Auburn in late April for the Seattle Handicap where he finished sixth. Roscoe Pito will break from the rail in the Independence Day, with Kevin Radke scheduled to ride.

The Independence Day Handicap is the fourth race in the Longacres Mile series, which began with the Seattle Handicap on April 30, continued with the FSN Handicap and the Pepsi-Cola Handicap, and will conclude with the 71st running of the Grade III $250,000 Longacres Mile on August 20.