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In The News - 2006 Past Entries  

Click for the entire articleSoaring High
Mary Lou and Terry Griffin prove you can meet your grandest goals in Washington
By Lenny Shulman (
Date published: November 11, 2006

Mary Lou and Terry Griffin have bred a grade 1 winner and sold a million-dollar horse from their homebase of Griffin Place, located in the foothilss of Mt. Rainier. Read the entire story [pdf]...

Expect to see some talented babies
By Jay Privman (
Date posted: July 17, 2006

Chancellor, out of Cozzene's Angel, bred by Griffin Place is suggested to be one of trainer Gary Mandella's best 2-year-olds. Read article...

Keagan Out jumps Sky Diving at Turf Paradise
by Staff
Date Posted: 2/11/2006

Keagan, ridden by Scott Stevens, collared the 3-5 choice Sky Diving near the sixteenth pole and drove to a one-length victory in the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby for 3-year-olds Saturday in Phoenix.

Trained by Eric Kruljac, part owner of the Washington-bred son of Basket Weave along with Gary Olson, Randy Bafus, Gary Stevenson, Keagan went off at odds of 10-1. The bay colt, a $26,000 yearling purchase who is not nominated for the Triple Crown, won in a time of 1:43 4/5 for the 1 1/16-mile distance.

The race was expected to be a prep on the Triple Crown trail for Sky Diving, a $310,000 son of Aptitude owned by B. Wayne Hughes. Bob Baffert trains the dark bay colt who broke his maiden by 14 lengths at Bay Meadows Jan. 25.

In his first start against winners, Sky Diving forced the pace for jockey Tony Farina, who rode the colt for the first time, before opening up a clear advantage on the final turn. But Keagan wound up his run while wide on the turn and soon headed the favorite. The two battled through the stretch before Keagan drew away late. It was 7 1/2 lengths back to the third-place finisher, 49-1 shot Soft Seventeen.

Keagan, was coming off a fifth-place finish in Turf Paradise's Rattlesnake Jan. 22, his first attempt at a route of ground after seven sprint races. Keagan won the 6 1/2-furlong Arizona Juvenile Dec. 26. Overall, he owns a 3-2-2 record in nine starts with earnings of $110,199.

The winner, bred by Mr. and Mrs. William T. Griffin, paid $23, $6.20 and $4.40. Sky Diving returned $3 and $2.80. Soft Seventeen was $6.40 to show.

Achilles of Troy easy Whirlaway winner, Keagan takes Turf Paradise Derby
Date Posted: 2/11/2006

Paraneck Stable's Achilles of Troy kept himself solidly on the Triple Crown trail Saturday as he easily disposed of six competitors in the $70,915 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct.

The three-year-old son of Notebook tracked the early lead of One Way Flight in the 1 1/16-mile contest through reasonable fractions of :23.08 and :46.82. Up the backstretch the dueling rivals opened up a clear lead on the rest of the field, and, as they approached the final turn, jockey Ramon Dominguez gave Achilles of Troy his cue.

The gray or roan son of Notebook eased past One Way Flight and, given a couple of reminders from Dominguez, surged into the lead. Once clear Dominguez looked back, saw he was in complete control, and wrapped up on the colt in the final hundred yards as they crossed the wire in 1:43.28, 4 3/4-lengths clear of One Way Flight. It was another six lengths back to third place finisher Rob'em Blind.

"He's just very deceiving," winning jockey Ramon Dominguez said. "He just covers a lot of ground with ease. I got to the three-eighths pole, and I even got a little concerned because he was so relaxed. I wasn't sure if he was going to fire, but I didn't want to test him that early. As soon as I got to the top of the stretch I shook him up and got an immediate response. In the stretch, once I knew he wasn't going to get beat, I put my hands down and he eased himself up. He's a real smart horse and he's got a great attitude."

Trainer Jennifer Pedersen was not on hand for the victory because her daughter had a doctor's appointment, leaving owner Ernie Paragallo to accept congratulations for the win.

"As soon as [Dominguez] chirped him, he just explodes," Paragallo said. "As soon as Ramon asked him to ease up, he eased up. This horse can do anything you want him to do."

Paragallo indicated that the plans are to send the colt to Florida's Classic Mile Training Center and possibly start him in the Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) on March 4 at Gulfstream Park.

Achilles of Troy is out of the Relaunch mare Steamy Recipe.

In the only other Saturday stakes race for three-year-old males, Keagan, a Washington-bred son of Basket Weave, upset heavily favored Sky Diving, in the $75,000 Turf Paradise Derby at Turf Paradise.

Sky Diving, who had forced a contested early pace with Rock Creek Pass and Wait in Line, took over on the far turn of the 1 1/16-mile contest, and appeared on his way to victory before Keagan came charging down the lane to post a determined one-length win in 1:43.90 over the fast track. Second place finisher Sky Diving was 7 1/2-lengths clear of third place finisher Soft Seventeen.

Of the top three finishers, only Sky Diving is an early nomination for the Triple Crown.

Keagan, trained and partly owned by J. Eric Kruljac, is the first stakes winner out of the Huckster mare Atoyac.

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