Friday, April 03 2009


Turfway sees double-digit declines


FLORENCE, KY . . . April 3, 2009 . . . Turfway Park ended its 2009 Winter/Spring Meet with double-digit declines in handle and purses paid and a significant drop in field size compared to the same period in 2008. The 2009 meet began January 1 and ended April 2.

On-track wagering on Turfway races fell 11.2 percent to $7,020,016 for the meet. All-sources wagering on Turfway races dropped 24.6 percent to $113,649,793, driven by a 26.1 percent decline in wagering by out-of-state players.

Average daily purses dropped from $145,614 to $125,017.





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Sunday, March 22 2009


Hold Me Back Makes 2009 Debut a Winning One in Lane’s End Stakes


FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Unraced since last November, Hold Me Back made his 3-year-old debut a memorable and lucrative one, closing from next to last under Kent Desormeaux to win the Grade II, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday in convincing fashion over the D. Wayne Lukas-trained long shot Flying Private. The margin of victory was 1 3/4 lengths.

Long shot Orthodox set the early pace, laying down early fractions of :23.71 for the quarter, :47.84 for the half, 1:12.43 for three quarters. Turning for home, Orthodox was quickly passed by Proceed Bee, Flying Private and Parade Clown. But none of those three could hold off the oncoming rush of Hold Me Back. After a slow start that landed him in 11th position early, Hold Me Back commenced a sustained rally approaching the far turn and swung six wide straightening out for the stretch. He caught Flying Private at the sixteenth pole and drew clear at the finish. Proceed Bee was four lengths farther back in third. Final time for the nine furlongs was 1:49.63.





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Hot Cha Cha Takes the Overland Route to Capture the Bourbonette


FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . The locally based Hot Cha Cha became a stakes winner in her first such attempt with an impressive 6-length tally in the Grade III, $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Orlando Mojica, the Cactus Ridge filly endured a wide trip due to the far outside post position in the field of 10. But Hot Cha Cha was able to circle the field from the eighth position and carve into the early lead of pacesetters Fitz Just Right and Instrumentalist. She wore those two down in the stretch and drew off to an easy win. Fitz Just Right, the 7-5 favorite, held on for second, a head in front of Instrumentalist at the wire.





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Cliffy’s Future Gives Silverton Hill, Miller a Second Rushaway Win


FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Cliffy’s Future came from dead last to win the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes by 2 1/2 widening lengths over Ziegfeld. Toccet Rocket was a head farther back in third. Cliffy’s Future is owned by Silverton Hill LLC and trained by Darrin Miller, the same connections who sent out Dominican to win the 2007 Rushaway.

It was the first stakes win for Cliffy’s Future, who ran a sluggish eighth last time out in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 14. That was his first start for Silverton Hill after a private purchase. Prior to that Tampa effort, he had been risked for a $75,000 claiming tag twice in races at Aqueduct over the winter.





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Just for Keeps Goes Wire-to-Wire in Queen


FLORENCE, KY . . . March 21, 2009 . . . Just for Keeps, the 2-1 favorite, went wire-to-wire to take the $50,000 Queen Stakes by three-quarters of a length over Proud Heiress. Mrs Petoski was two lengths back in third.

Ridden by Julian Leparoux, Just for Keeps went straight to the lead and never looked back. The 5-year-old daughter of Broken Vow came into the Queen off a similar wire-to-wire score in a Feb. 1 classified allowance race at Gulfstream for Turfway Park’s leading trainer Michael Maker and owners Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. Today’s win was the second career stakes victory for Just for Keeps, who captured the Mamzelle Stakes last May over the Churchill Downs turf course.





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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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