Friday, February 27 2009


Turfway cancels added Monday card


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 27, 2009 . . . Turfway Park’s live racing card scheduled for Monday, March 2, has been canceled due to lack of entries. The card had been added to the schedule in an effort to make up races lost to six full or partial cancellations, five in January and one in February.

“Hindsight is 20/20,” said Turfway president Robert N. Elliston, “and we missed the mark in terms of the horse population that would be available to fill additional race days. Horses that otherwise would prefer to run in Kentucky, and traditionally did so, are instead racing in jurisdictions where purses are enhanced with revenue from alternative gaming. Kentucky has not been permitted to level the playing field, and we are beginning to feel the effects of the competitive advantage other states have over us, tradition or not.”





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Thursday, February 26 2009


Fresh off WEBN win, Parade Clown back for Battaglia


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 26, 2009 . . . Parade Clown won the second local prep for the Lane’s End Stakes and returns to Turfway Park Saturday to try the third, the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed).

Parade Clown was a bit green in the early going of the WEBN Stakes, the second prep, but veteran jockey Billy Troilo persuaded him to settle and wait, a valuable lesson for a three-year-old approaching springtime. Riding for trainer Katherine Ball, Troilo is back aboard for the Battaglia Memorial. Parade Clown has two wins and a second in three races at Turfway, with one of the wins at the Battaglia’s 1 1/16-mile distance.





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Wednesday, February 25 2009


Turfway to host Derby-winning jockeys


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 24, 2009 . . . Five former jockeys with Kentucky Derby wins to their credit will greet fans and sign autographs at Turfway Park across three Monday afternoons in March. The last of the three Mondays kicks off the week leading to the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes, Turfway’s Derby prep race.

Chris McCarron and Mike Manganello will be on hand March 2, Pat Day and Craig Perret will appear March 9, and Steve Cauthen will appear March 16. A commemorative poster featuring the jockeys will be available free of charge, limited to one per person. A total of 600 posters will be printed. The autograph sessions will run from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day, and fans may have the poster and one other item signed on a first come, first served basis.





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Sunday, February 22 2009


Jockey Musarro gets first career win


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 22, 2009 . . . Apprentice jockey Joe Musarro, 17, earned his first career win Sunday when he guided Heavenly Surprise to a 5 1/2-length score in Turfway Park’s seventh race, a claiming event for fillies and mares three years old and up.

Breaking from post six in the field of seven, Heavenly Surprise jumped immediately to the lead, was taken back by Musarro to race in third, and then regained the lead at the top of the turn before easily drawing away in the stretch. The mare finished the 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:07.08 and paid $9.20 as the 7-2 second choice.





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Lane’s End nominations total 112


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 22, 2009 . . . The 38th renewal of the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park has drawn 112 nominations, announced Racing Secretary Richard S. Leigh. For three-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the Lane’s End Stakes is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. The race traditionally is run six weeks before the first Saturday in May as a prep for the Kentucky Derby (G1), and its $500,000 purse virtually guarantees the winner a spot in the Derby field should more than 20 seek to enter.

The winners of both local preps run to date are nominated to the Lane’s End. Loch Dubh, trained by Jeff Talley for Texas Toyco, won the Turfway Prevue sprint in January, and Parade Clown, trained by Katherine Ball for Donamire Farm, was nominated on the strength of his win in the WEBN Stakes. (The third local prep, the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, will run February 28.)





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Saturday, February 21 2009


Walloon steps up to stakes win in Valdale


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 21, 2009 . . . Walloon stepped up to two turns and earned her first stakes trophy Saturday at Turfway Park, taking the $50,000 Valdale Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.

Karacuda jumped out quickly to set the pace, followed closely by the 3-2 favorite, Tacky Cat. Breaking from the inside post under jockey Hector Rosario Jr., Walloon went at the leaders briefly before settling back to mid-pack along the rail. Rosario moved her off the rail leaving the final turn and made a four-wide run past the tiring leaders. She’s Due closed from far back to take second. Three-quarters of a length farther back was Satans Quick Chick, who had trailed the field early.





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Jockey Billy Troilo gets career win 2,500


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 21, 2009 . . . Jockey Billy Troilo earned his 2,500th career win Saturday when he guided Sabeeb to a two-length victory in the sixth race at Turfway Park.

The milestone win came one race after Troilo earned win number 2,499 with Queen of Victory. He added win number 2,501 in the eighth race aboard Overdrive.





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Friday, February 20 2009


Fillies up for rematch in Valdale Stakes


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 20, 2009 . . . The top three finishers of the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes will be back at Turfway Park Saturday to face off again in the $50,000 Valdale Stakes. Carded for three-year-old fillies, the one-mile Valdale is the second of two local preps for the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks, itself a prep for the Grade I Kentucky Oaks.

Tacky Cat drew off to win the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy by an easy six lengths, and while the Valdale will be her first attempt at two turns, her willingness to sit off the pace may help her take that next step. Orlando Mojica is back aboard for trainer Wayne Mogge.





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Sunday, February 15 2009


A year after cancer diagnosis, Justin Vitek returns


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 14, 2009 . . . He was not the jockey in the winner’s circle, but no jockey in any race on any day was a bigger winner than Justin Vitek after Turfway Park’s 10th race Saturday. His mount on Model’s Memo was his first since being diagnosed with myelogenous leukemia almost exactly a year ago, February 16, 2008.

Model’s Memo, herself off since July, dropped back as usual but could not come up with a closing rally and finished last. The result had no impact on the light in Vitek’s eyes or the excitement of well-wishers gathered around him.

“It felt great,” Vitek said. “She broke a little tardy and got slammed, so it kind of took her out of her game, but it was the first time back—for both of us.





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Friday, February 13 2009


Brass Hat returns in Dust Commander


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 12, 2009 . . . Millionaire grade I winner Brass Hat returns to racing this Saturday in the $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park, his first start in eight months.

After finishing fifth behind Curlin in the Stephen Foster last June, Brass Hat returned from a work with a minor injury, and trainer William “Buff” Bradley elected to turn a few weeks’ recovery into an extended vacation.





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Sunday, February 08 2009


Parade Clown settles down, wins WEBN Stakes


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 7, 2009 . . . Parade Clown got a wise ride from veteran rider Bill Troilo Saturday at Turfway Park to take home the $50,000 WEBN Stakes trophy. It was the first stakes win for the son of Distorted Humor and a decisive step toward the Lane’s End Stakes next month.

Music City, the 2-1 favorite, rocketed out of the gate to get the early lead, while Parade Clown, a bit green, pushed up from fourth to within half a length of the lead heading into the backstretch. Troilo settled him down, and when Music City moved suddenly to open up a three or four length lead down the backstretch, Parade Clown let him go.





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Unspoken Word cruises to Likely Exchange win


FLORENCE, KY . . . February 7, 2009 . . . Unspoken Word got the lead early and easily and finished the same way, taking the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes by five lengths Saturday at Turfway Park. The five-year-old mare proved the bettors right, paying $3.00 as the 1-2 favorite.

Wellofaprize was second, a photo-finish neck ahead of Solarana in third.





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