Sunday, February 12 2012

Whisked Away Upsets Likely Exchange

FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 11, 2012 – Whisked Away upset the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, earning her first trophy and giving trainer Rowena Beck her first stakes win with her first stakes entry. Luis Martinez Jr. was aboard.

Whisked Away left the inside post at 15-1, fifth choice in the field of nine older fillies and mares. She finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Hot Hot Mama, who was a neck better than La Gran Bailadora in third. Final time for the mile was 1:40.88.

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Second Mount, First Win for Jockey Marcelino Torres

FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 11, 2012 – Apprentice jockey Marcelino Torres earned his first career win Saturday with just his second mount, guiding Luckie Chuckie from off the pace to win Turfway Park’s fifth race by 5 3/4 lengths for trainer Byron Hughes.

Born in Guerrero, Mexico, the 23-year-old Torres came to the United States in 2010 at the suggestion of his uncle, exercise rider Concepcion Torres. He joined the elder Torres at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, grooming horses for trainer John Langemeier. Two of Marcelino’s younger brothers, Ernesto and Omar, also gallop horses at the Training Center and after just two months under his uncle’s tutelage Marcelino joined their ranks.

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Sunday, February 05 2012

Mr. Prankster Gets the Distance in WEBN Stakes

FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 4, 2012 – Mr. Prankster emphatically answered the two-turn question Saturday, closing strongly and drawing off to win the one-mile WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park by 7 1/2 lengths. Phantom Fury was second, 2 1/4 lengths better than Magical Season in third. Final time was 1:39.18.

In his only previous route race, the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill, Mr. Prankster was a thoroughly beaten last of 11. That race was in November, however, a lifetime ago in the development of a young colt.

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Jockey Julio Felix Hits 2,500 Win Milestone

FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 4, 2012 – Jockey Julio Felix scored career win 2,500 Saturday when he brought J. Pa home a winner in Turfway Park’s eighth race. Close to the pace through the first three furlongs in the 5 1/2 furlong starter allowance race, J. Pa challenged in mid-stretch and cleared late to win by a length over Voodoo Doctor. J. Pa went off the 6-5 favorite and finished the race in 1:05.30.

“I always give God the glory,” said Felix. “I wake up thinking about Him and I finish thinking about Him. He’s the reason why I’ve made it this far.”

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Sunday, January 29 2012

Grand Daddy Takes a Shot, Gets it Done in Forego Stakes

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 28, 2012 – Grand Daddy lived up to his trainer’s expectations Saturday at Turfway Park, winning the $50,000 Forego Stakes by a hard-fought neck over Tend. Matthewsburg was equally game to finish between them, a head farther back in third. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs over Polytrack was 1:17.83.

It was the first stakes win for Grand Daddy, a 6-year-old son of Johannesburg and a full brother to dual Grade 1 winner Scat Daddy. While he had been a consistent performer in his previous 21 races, winning seven and placing in six others, Grand Daddy had not yet stepped up. He had finished second in this race two years ago and fourth last year, but trainer Tom Drury Jr. believed this was the time.

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Friday, January 27 2012

Stakes Winners Head Turfway’s Forego Stakes

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 27, 2012 – The gate will be full Saturday at Turfway Park for the $50,000 Forego Stakes, a 6 1/2 furlong race headed by accomplished sprinters looking to regain stakes-winning form.

Matthewsburg closed to win the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) at Turfway in September but could not repeat that outcome over sealed muddy tracks in the Jimmy V Stakes at Churchill or the Sophomore Sprint Stakes at Mountaineer. He returned to Turfway in the Holiday Cheer Stakes on New Year’s Eve, broke last in the field of 11, and finished fifth after a very wide trip. Two of the colt’s three career wins have come at Turfway, however, and he has been training well over the Polytrack, clocking :59.80 for five furlongs last Saturday in his most recent work, second-fastest of 15 at that distance that day. Victor Lebron rides for trainer Mike Maker.

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Sunday, January 22 2012

Cincinnati Trophy Win Puts Lotta Lovin on Path to Bourbonette Oaks

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 21, 2012 – Lotta Lovin got a perfect start and a perfect trip to win the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, drawing away unchallenged to win by seven lengths over A. P. Diva. Sweetnessngoodness was third, another 1 1/4 lengths back.

Lotta Lovin’s easy win bodes well for the future that trainer Mike Maker has mapped for her. After her wins in the Gowell Stakes Dec. 26 and now the Cincinnati Trophy, Maker confirmed that he will try to sweep Turfway’s stakes series for young fillies and point her first toward the Valdale Stakes on Feb. 25 and then the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks on the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes undercard on March 24. Both of those races cover a mile. The Valdale will be Lotta Lovin’s first attempts at two turns, but Maker has confidence in her ability to handle the added distance.

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Saturday, January 21 2012

Jockey Felipe Villeda Notches First Career Win

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 20, 2012 – Apprentice jockey Felipe Villeda scored his first career victory Friday, bringing Royal Ensign home to the tune of 40-1 in the eighth race at Turfway Park.

Royal Ensign broke from post seven in the 6 1/2-furlong claiming race and Villeda dropped him down inside for a ground-saving trip. The pair steadily advanced from more than nine lengths off the lead at the first quarter mark to take the lead by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole, also the margin of victory. Helmut Jackson was the winning trainer.

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Friday, January 20 2012

Fillies’ Stakes Path Continues at Turfway in Cincinnati Trophy

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 20, 2012 – Turfway Park’s series of stakes for young fillies continues Saturday with the 30th running of the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes. A field of 10 3-year-olds is entered for the 6 1/2-furlong race, a local prep for the Bourbonette Oaks (G3) on the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes undercard.

Sweetnessngoodness improved mightily from her first start to her second and is two-for-two at Turfway. She was so badly outrun in her debut at Churchill Downs in November that her jockey eased her home, but the light went on at Turfway a month later and she drew off decisively to win a maiden special by nearly six lengths. She put the debut questions firmly to rest in her third start, an optional allowance also at Turfway, winning by 1 1/4 lengths after pressing the early pace. Rodney Prescott was aboard for both wins but takes off to ride A. P. Diva, leaving Sweenessngoodness in the hands of seven-pound apprentice Alejandro Contreras. Mike Lauer trains.

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Sunday, January 15 2012

Lou’s Angel Earns First Trophy in Turfway’s Wishing Well Stakes

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 14, 2012 – Lou’s Angel drew in off the also-eligible list to contest the Wishing Well Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday and took the opportunity from gate to wire, winning the six furlong race for older fillies and mares by 1 3/4 lengths. Hot Hot Mama closed fast to be second, a neck ahead of fellow closer and 7-2 favorite Double Espresso.

The $50,000 Wishing Well was the first stakes win for Lou’s Angel and the first for her owner, Mrs. Lou Diekemper.

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Friday, January 13 2012

100th Career Start a Win for El Bomba

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 12, 2012 – Thirteen-year-old El Bomba hit the century mark with a flourish Thursday at Turfway Park, winning his 100th career start by a nose under the steady urging of jockey Amanda Tamburello.

The milestone start came in Turfway’s first race, a one-mile test for $5,000 claimers. Breaking from post two, El Bomba was last out of the gate, moved up from seventh to be a close fourth after a quarter, and then made a four-wide bid on the turn to lead into the stretch. The veteran gelding dug in to keep his nose in front of Teetee’s Tapit, who led early and then followed the leader to the wire, and Soldero, a further head back in third.

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Wednesday, January 11 2012

Turfway Returns to Saturday Afternoon Post

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 11, 2012 – Effective this Saturday, Jan. 14, Turfway Park will change its Saturday post time back to 1:10 p.m.

The move ends a nearly year-long experiment using a 5:30 p.m. post to build a date night variation of the track’s highly successful Dollar Friday promotions.

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