Sunday, December 21 2008

Step Out Smartly steps up to Gowell win

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2008 . . . Step Out Smartly stepped up from maiden winner to stakes winner at Turfway Park Saturday, coming from far back to take the $50,000 Gowell Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths. Lady’s Laughter led into the stretch and stayed in for second, three lengths ahead of 2-1 favorite Emma Darling, who stumbled out of the gate.

Queen of Victory took the lead from Karacuda shortly after the break and set fractions of :22.11 and :45.74 under pressure from Lady’s Laughter to her outside. As Lady’s Laughter took over coming into the stretch, Step Out Smartly was second to last, but jockey Bill Troilo had her on the move and she swept past effortlessly in the middle of the track to get up in the final few strides.

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Turfway cancels Sunday card

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2008 . . . With forecasters promising strong winds and single-digit windchill temperatures, Turfway Park has canceled live racing for Sunday, December 21. The track will remain open for simulcasting.

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Friday, December 19 2008

Experience should tell in Gowell Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 18, 2008 . . . The $50,000 Gowell Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday has drawn 11 two-year-old fillies with a wide range of racing experience.

With five career starts and two wins, including a maiden win at the Gowell distance at Turfway, Emma Darling brings wide experience to the race. She sat behind a quick pace for the maiden win at six furlongs and used a similar style to win her most recent race, a mile allowance at Churchill Downs. She also has stakes experience, finishing fourth in the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs at summer’s end. Emma Darling is trained by Mike Maker, the meet’s top trainer, and will be ridden by Victor Lebron.

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Jockey Wilkinson gets first career win

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 18, 2008 . . . Apprentice jockey Erin Wilkinson, 24, earned her first career win Thursday night when she guided the filly Misstee Blue to a commanding 7 1/4-length win in the third race at Turfway Park. The ride was the 28th of her young career.

“It’s pure adrenalin,” Wilkinson said of race riding. “I can’t explain it.”

“She’s true grit,” said her agent, Fred Struss. “She’ll ride at Turfway in the morning, turn around and drive back to LaGrange to get on horses at High Point (Training Center), and then turn right back around and come back to Turfway to ride at night. She works hard. She’s going to be a good one.”

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Friday, December 12 2008

Classic foes return in Prairie Bayou

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 11, 2008 . . . Extreme Supreme and Canela, respectively second and third in September’s Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic, return to Turfway Park this Saturday for the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes. The two head a field of 10 for the 1 1/8 mile race.

Trained by John Ward Jr. for John Oxley, Extreme Supreme has not started since his runner-up finish in the Classic. He has performed well off similar or longer layoffs and in 15 career starts has finished out of the money only three times. Extreme Supreme has been training well over the Polytrack at Keeneland and should be ready to return to work in the Prairie Bayou. The mount goes to Otto Thorwarth, who finished second among riders in the fall meet after being edged out of the top spot on closing day.

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Sunday, December 07 2008

Kiss With a Twist goes to plan B for first stakes win

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 6, 2008 . . . The My Charmer Stakes didn’t start the way jockey Miguel Mena envisioned, but plan B worked just fine, as Kiss With a Twist sailed through on the inside to win by 2 1/4 lengths. The win at Turfway Park Saturday earned the four-year-old filly her first stakes trophy.

Breaking from the three post, Kiss With a Twist stumbled leaving the gate and found herself running last instead of lying about fifth as Mena intended. While Callie’s Joy set a moderate pace with Silver Moonshine just behind, Kiss With a Twist found her stride, moved up to ninth entering the backstretch, and steadily gained until she was seventh at the top of the turn. As the field turned for home, the door opened wide for Mena between Lauren’s Tizzy on the rail and the rest of the field.

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Saturday, December 06 2008

Plenty of options in My Charmer Stakes

FLORENCE, KY . . . December 4, 2008 . . . Handicappers will have plenty of options in the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes at Turfway this Saturday, as a dozen fillies and mares with a range of running styles line up for the 1 1/16 mile race.

Kiss With a Twist has four wins, four seconds, and four thirds from 18 starts, including a 2-for-4 record on all-weather surfaces. She can close or sit just off the pace, as she did while finishing third in the Grade III Cardinal Handicap on the yielding turf at Churchill. That race covered 1 1/8-miles, so the return to Polytrack and the shorter distance may prove her edge in the My Charmer.

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Saturday, November 29 2008

Holiday Inaugural draws a dozen for Turfway’s opening day

FLORENCE, KY . . . November 28, 2008 . . . The $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes, the feature race on Turfway Park's opening day card this Sunday, drew a dozen fillies and mares, including recent Turfway stakes winner Vote Early and a handful that appear to relish all-weather tracks.

Most recently sixth in an overnight handicap on the dirt at Churchill Downs, Vote Early came from off the pace two starts back to win the Weekend Delight Stakes at Turfway in September. On Monday she posted a best-of-50 work over a sloppy track at Churchill. Trainer Steve Margolis has tapped Shaun Bridgmohan to ride in the Holiday Inaugural.

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