Friday, March 20 2009

Day-before routines for Lane’s End contenders

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 20, 2009 . . . Bittel Road and West Side Bernie, one-two on the morning line for the Lane’s End Stakes Saturday, both were on the Polytrack at Turfway Park Friday morning.

Whit Beckman, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, jogged Bittel Road once around the Turfway track and then galloped another circuit. “He went very easily,” Beckman said. “He’s loving the track. He’s just cruising over top of it.”

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Thursday, March 19 2009

Lane’s End favorite Bittel Road arrives at Turfway

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 19, 2009 . . . Bittel Road, the 5-2 morning line favorite for the Lane’s End Stakes this Saturday, had a pleasingly uneventful trip from California to Turfway Park, arriving Wednesday

“He shipped in well, is all settled, and he galloped well over the track [Thursday] morning,” reported trainer Todd Pletcher. The colt also schooled in the paddock during the first race on Turfway’s Thursday card.

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Wednesday, March 18 2009

Post positions, morning line set for Lane’s End Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 18, 2009 . . . Bittel Road at 5-2 and West Side Bernie at 3-1 are the top two morning line choices for the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia set the line for the 12-horse field at the annual Call to the Post Luncheon and Post Position Draw on Wednesday.

The field in post position order with trainers, jockeys, and morning line odds:

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Ball family already part of Lane’s End history

Although most of the Lane’s End field will have journeyed to Turfway Park from all parts of the country, Saturday’s race is a veritable home game for Parade Clown. The son of Distorted Humor made his last four starts in Florence, never finishing worse than second, including a fine runner-up finish in the February 28 John Battaglia Memorial, the traditional local prep for the Lane’s End.

“In the Battaglia, he was aggressive, ended up five-wide around the first turn, and still got beat just a length,” said Parade Clown’s trainer Katherine (K. K.) Ball. “That was frustrating, but he still was finishing at the end.”

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Tuesday, March 17 2009

Lane’s End field taking shape

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 16, 2009 . . . The list of 3-year-olds probable for the Lane’s End Stakes (G2) at Turfway Park Saturday has taken shape, reports Stakes Coordinator Tia Borgemenke. Entries will be drawn Wednesday during the annual Call to the Post Luncheon.

Looking likely for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Derby prep are:

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Saturday, March 14 2009

Turfway cancels Monday card

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 13, 2009 . . . Unable to fill the card due to lack of entries, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Monday, March 16.

Unlike two recently canceled Monday cards, which had been scheduled in an attempt to make up races lost to cold weather, March 16 was among dates originally requested for 2009 by the Northern Kentucky track. Turfway ran a successful mid-March Monday card in 2008.

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Thursday, March 12 2009

Lane’s End Stakes offers dress-up, dress-down fun

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 11, 2009 . . . Like Thoroughbred racing everywhere, the Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park offers something for everyone, from the serious handicapper to the most casual fan, and from those dressed Derby-style to the blue-jeans crowd along the rail.

The 2009 Lane’s End Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. This year marks the 38th running of the race, which was established in 1972 as a prep race for the Kentucky Derby. The race carries a $500,000 purse, virtually guaranteeing the winner a spot in the Derby field.

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Saturday, March 07 2009

Kiss With a Twist takes Wintergreen Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 7, 2009 . . . Kiss With a Twist earned her second Turfway Park stakes trophy Saturday, wearing down the leader in the stretch and taking the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes by three-quarters of a length. Final time for the mile was 1:37.61.

Jockey Billy Troilo kept Kiss With a Twist behind the moderate pace set by Unspoken Word, who broke from the outside of the five-horse field and had the lead before the first turn. Racing without pressure, Unspoken Word led by two and three lengths down the backstretch, setting the pace at :24.42 and :48.25 through half. She still led at the quarter pole, clocking the distance in 1:12.70, but by then Troilo had moved Kiss With a Twist up to challenge. The two fought side by side, with ‘Kiss’ having a slight lead, until Unspoken Word gave way in mid-stretch. She dropped back to finish third, 1 1/2 lengths behind De Star Xpress, who closed like a fresh horse to nearly catch the winner.

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Friday, March 06 2009

Turfway Park to cut purses, two stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 6, 2009 . . . Association purses paid at Turfway Park will be cut five percent and the 2009 Tejano Run Stakes and Fairway Fun Stakes have been canceled, track president Robert N. Elliston announced today.

The track was unable to fill races for Monday, March 9, when the cut originally was scheduled to become effective. The cut therefore takes effect Wednesday, March 11, and will run through the end of the meet.

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Thursday, March 05 2009

Turfway stakes winners face off in Wintergreen

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 5, 2009 . . . Recent Turfway Park stakes winners Kiss With a Twist and Unspoken Word return to the track Saturday for the 27th running of the Wintergreen Stakes.

Unspoken Word comes in to the Wintergreen off back-to-back wins at Turfway, including the Likely Exchange Stakes a month ago. Both wins came at the Wintergreen’s mile distance, and she won both by setting a sensible pace and drawing off to win by multiple lengths. The 5-year-old mare is trained by the meet’s leading trainer, Mike Maker, and ridden by the meet’s leading jockey, Victor Lebron.

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Autograph sessions with Derby winners rescheduled

FLORENCE, KY . . . March 4, 2009 . . . Turfway Park has rescheduled previously planned autograph sessions with Kentucky Derby-winning jockeys Steve Cauthen, Pat Day, Mike Manganello, Craig Perret, and Chris McCarron.

Manganello, Perret, and McCarron will be at Turfway Park on Thursday, March 12, to meet fans and sign autographs. Day and Cauthen will be on hand Thursday, March 19. The autograph sessions are scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. both days.

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Sunday, March 01 2009

Proceed Bee takes Battaglia Memorial

FLORENCE, KY . . . February 28, 2009 . . .Proceed Bee earned his second stakes win Saturday at Turfway Park, running down a game Parade Clown in the stretch to take the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes by a length and a quarter.

With the scratch of Fitzaslew, pacesetting chores eventually fell to Dynamite Bob and Platinum Van, but as the field rounded the first turn of the 1 1/16-mile race, five of the seven horses were ranged across the track. Parade Clown, who broke from the outside post as the 3-5 favorite, was eager to join the fray and rounded the turn widest of all.

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