Friday, January 09, 2009


Rivalries renew in Turfway’s Wishing Well Stakes


FLORENCE, KY . . . January 8, 2009 . . . Several of the dozen older fillies and mares entered for the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday will be renewing rivalries, including recent Turfway stakes winners Afleet Angel and Vote Early.

Afleet Angel was overlooked at 10-1 when she won the Holiday Inaugural in the just-completed holiday meet, defeating five of the horses she will face in the Wishing Well. She has four wins, a second, and a third in seven starts on all-weather surfaces and missed the money just once in nine starts last year. In her most recent start, the New Year’s Eve Stakes on an off track at Mountaineer, she finished third. She won the Holiday Inaugural by closing from far back but has set the pace to win as well. Wilfredo Lozano Jr., who was aboard for Afleet Angel’s stakes win at Presque Isle, comes to Turfway to ride for trainer Paula Bacon.


Vote Early came from off the pace to win the Weekend Delight Stakes by a neck in September and was second in the Holiday Inaugural. Most recently she was beaten seven lengths to finish third in an allowance race at Turfway. The winner and runner-up in that race, respectively Mrs Petoski and Pola’s Place, also return in the Wishing Well. Otto Thorwarth rides Vote Early for trainer Helen Pitts-Blasi.

Mrs Petoski produced the field’s fastest Equibase speed figure when she got by the pacesetting Pola’s Place to win that allowance race at Turfway last month. She has yet to win at the stakes level but delivers on all-weather surfaces, at the distance, and at Turfway and has trained extremely well over Turfway’s Polytrack. Rex Stokes III rides for trainer William Hall.

Also entered for the Wishing Well are Bellicose (jockey John McKee); Conjuress, fifth in the Holiday Inaugural (Luis Martinez Jr.); Pola’s Place (Leandro Goncalves); two-time Turfway Stakes winner Valentine Fever (Tom Pompell); Altered State (Bill Troilo); School Girl, fourth in the Holiday Inaugural (Rodney Prescott); Miss A. Bomb (Orlando Mojica); Solarana (ARG) (meet leader Victor Lebron); and Proud Heiress (Scott Spieth). Donnaguska and V.I.P. Princess are on the also-eligible list.

The six-furlong Wishing Well is the 11th of 12 races on Saturday’s card. First post is 1:10pm.


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