Sibelius Scores First Stakes in Lite the Fuse

September 11, 2022

Swayin to and Fro Captures $75,000 Shine Again

BALTIMORE, Md. – Jun Park’s and Delia Nash’s 4-year-old gelding Sibelius won his first stakes race when he led throughout to win the $100,000 Lite The Fuse by 7 ½ lengths over favored multiple stakes winner Jaxon Traveler. 

Sibelius, who had won one of his last six races, all coming against allowance optional claimer company, broke cleanly from the gate and took the lead from Jaxon Traveler shortly after the break. Under jockey Junior Alvarado, the son of Not This Time was pressed past fractions of :22.76 and :45.43 by Quick Tempo before Jaxon Traveler moved three-wide entering the stretch and took aim on the leader. But Alvarado had plenty left under him, and Sibelius drew of down the stretch.

Ridden by Junior Alvarado and trained by Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Sibelius covered the six furlongs in 1:09.30.

“When I started the race, I thought they’d be a little more speed, but he came out of the gate running and I didn’t want to take anything away. He was traveling very nicely. He was going it easily for him,” Alvarado said. 

“It was a great effort by him today,” O’Dwyer said. “He’s a 4-year-old now, and I think this is his year. He’s put it all together.”

 O’Dwyer said he would consider running Sibelius next in the $350,000 Phoenix next month at Keeneland.

Swayin to and Fro swings win in Shine Again 

Swayin to and Fro, claimed in May by trainer Mario Serey Jr. and Baxter Racing Stable for $16,000, gamely held off the 6-5 favorite Oxana to win the $75,000 Shine Again by a neck while covering six furlongs in 1:10.93. It was another 5 ½ lengths back to Canoodle in third.

Since being claimed by Serey, Swayin to and Fro has won five of six starts. Jockey Grant Whitacre has been aboard for all of the starts.

“I’m claiming guy,” Seray said. “Sometime when you claim a horse it’s lucky. Sometimes you have a good horse sometimes no. I think with this filly, every time she runs, she gives me a little more and more. I think we got a good choice when I took this filly.”

Swayin to and Fro chased Oxana past fractions of :23.87 and :46.81. Despite a game performance by Oxana, who came into the race off a third-place finish at Parx in the Dr. Teresa Garofalo Memorial in August, Swayin to and Fro was the best on this day.

“I had a ton the whole way,” Whitacre said. “She likes to be in hand and just pull you along.”

The Shine Again is named after the 2003 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year and multiple Grade 1 winner trained by H. Allen Jerkens and owned by Bohemia Stable. Shine Again placed first or second in 24 of 34 starts for earnings of $1.271 million.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo of Sibelius by Maryland Jockey Club

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