Monday, January 17, 2011


Stamina the Ticket in Wednesday Marathon Feature


Opportunities for horses to prove themselves over the longer distances these days are limited, but Friday’s ‘a other than’ allowance feature carded for 1 ½ miles on turf will give horsemen a chance to see if their charges have a future in that division with Hiram Polk Jr. and David Richardson’s 4-year-old Harrods Creek one of a few in the field of 12 that has raced at 12 furlongs.

Jockey Kent Desormeaux rode Harrods Creek in his last three starts in Kentucky for trainer Bill Mott, the last two at a mile-and-a-half. The Kentucky homebred chestnut colt by Langfuhr finished second by a length in an ‘a other than’ allowance at Keeneland on Oct. 29 and came back to finish runner-up in a similar race at Churchill Downs last out on Nov. 18 that was forced off turf and run on a ‘sloppy’ main track.


Another contender with experience over the trip is William Clifton, Jr.’s 4-year-old Zhivago with Alex Solis in the saddle for trainer James Bond. The son of Thunder Gulch was a $180,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase and broke his maiden going 1 ½ miles over the Polytrack synthetic surface at Woodbine on Oct. 21 and came back to finish seventh last out in the Valedictory Stakes there on Dec. 5 run at 1 ¾ miles.

Melnyk Racing Stable’s 4-year-old James Street will get support with Julien Leparoux named to ride for trainer Mark Casse. The Kentucky homebred by El Prado finished third behind Zhivago in the 12-furlong maiden race at Woodbine in October, beaten a half-length for it all, and has run twice since, breaking his maiden at 1 1/16 miles in late November and an even fifth in a 1 1/16 miles turf allowance here on Jan. 5.

Completing the field for Wednesday’s feature are Charles Fipke’s Perfect Loch, White Hall Lane Farm’s Saint Jude, Darley Stable’s Capital Market, George Santis’ Karmanos, Gustavo Delgado’s Storm Chart, Farfellow Farms’ Icy Strait, Tommy Ligo’s High Aspirations, Augustin Stable’s Last Empire and F and J Stable’s Our Repent.

Monmouth Stud’s Smokey Prado is alone on the ‘also-eligible’ list.

A good effort in Wednesday’s race could yield a contender for the first long-distance turf test on the Gulfstream stakes calendar – the $150,000 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2) to be run at 1 3/8 miles on Sat., Feb. 19.


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