Wednesday, January 04 2012

Handle Up For Turfway Park Holiday Meet

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 4, 2012 –Turfway Park ended its 2011 Holiday Meet with increases in both on-track and all-sources handle compared to the same period in 2010.

On-track play on Turfway races rose 12.3 percent to $2,222,148. Handle from all sources rose 13.2 percent to $45,645,266, boosted by a 14.4 percent increase in out-of-state play.

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Sunday, January 01 2012

First Starter, First Winner for Trainer April Thorpe

FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 1, 2011 – Trainer April Thorpe earned her first career win Friday at Turfway Park when she saddled her very first starter, a 3-year-old who also was making his career debut.

With Tom Pompell aboard, Cup of Joy set all the pace in Turfway’s sixth race, a maiden special, and held off a late bid by Lead Player to win by three-quarters of a length. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:13.58.

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Friday, December 30 2011

Kentucky Cup Sprint Winner Matthewsburg returns in Holiday Cheer

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 30, 2011 – Grade 3 winners Matthewsburg and Hollywood Hit head a full field for the $50,000 Holiday Cheer Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. The six-furlong race drew 13 horses 3-years-old and up, with 12 to go.

Matthewsburg’s Grade 3 win came at Turfway, and came this year, in the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint. In his next two starts, also his most recent, he was a well beaten fifth in the Jimmy V Stakes at Churchill Downs and then was second, beaten nearly five lengths, in the Sophomore Sprint at Mountaineer, but both were run over sealed, muddy tracks and can be discounted. Trainer Mike Maker teams up with regular rider Victor Lebron.

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Thursday, December 29 2011

First Winner for Dougherty is Trainer’s Second Big Win This Year

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 29, 2011 – Trainer Anthony Dougherty saddled his first career winner Wednesday afternoon, sending out City of Trix to a 1 3/4-length, off-the-pace victory under Matthew Straight in the eighth race at Turfway Park.

But City of Trix was not Dougherty’s first momentous victory this year. Diagnosed with a brain tumor in January, he underwent successful surgery on Valentine’s Day. “I started the year with that news and ended the year in the winner’s circle,” he said.

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Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes Highlights Turfway Winter/Spring Meet

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 29, 2011 – Turfway Park closes its 2011 Holiday Meet on New Year’s Eve but racing continues uninterrupted as the Northern Kentucky track opens its 2012 Winter/Spring Meet on New Year’s Day.

The highlight of the meet is the 41st running of the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) on March 24. In 2011, its first year under Vinery sponsorship, the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds produced the Kentucky Derby (G1) winner. Animal Kingdom trained up to the Derby after winning the Spiral Stakes over the Turfway Polytrack, becoming the first horse to win the Derby without previous experience racing on dirt.

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Tuesday, December 27 2011

Lotta Lovin Shows a Lotta Heart in Gowell Win

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 26, 2011 – Lotta Lovin showed a lotta heart in the last half-furlong of the $50,000 Gowell Stakes, getting up in the final jumps under Victor Lebron to take the six-furlong race by half a length over St. Louis City. A. P. Diva, the 3-1 favorite, was another three-quarters of a length back in third after leading from the top of the stretch.

Both of Lotta Lovin’s previous wins had come wire-to-wire, but a shaky break put her in fourth early, albeit less than three lengths off the lead. “She broke a little outward and I had to get into her mouth a little bit to direct her,” said Lebron. “She has a light, soft mouth and she kind of threw her head in the first jump, so I was a little worried at the beginning. But then I placed her and she seemed comfortable with it, so I left her there, kind of cruising, trying to time it right. There were two in front and they were battling, so I thought, okay, if they come back just a little bit I’ll be right there on the money.”

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Friday, December 23 2011

Full Field for Gowell Stakes Starts Turfway’s Holiday Schedule

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 22, 2011 – Turfway Park’s traditional post-Christmas week of live racing begins with a 10-race card on Monday that features the $50,000 Gowell Stakes, six furlongs for 2-year-old fillies.

Owner William Stiritz and trainer Scott Becker won the Prairie Bayou Stakes here last Saturday with Proceed Bee and return Monday with St. Louis City. The filly makes her second career start after winning a maiden special at Hawthorne Dec. 8 at the Gowell distance. She pushed a hot pace in that dirt race before winning by five lengths in 1:10.83. The Gowell will be her Polytrack debut. Ben Creed has been named to ride. St. Louis City breaks from post three.

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Sunday, December 18 2011

Proceed Bee Gets Best of Photo in Turfway’s Prairie Bayo

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 17, 2011 – The finish line for the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday came just in time for Proceed Bee, who held off a tremendous late surge by Wealth to Me to win by a head. Matty’s Trail was third, three more lengths back.

With Rodney Prescott aboard, Proceed Bee broke from the outside post in the field of 10 and settled half a dozen lengths off the lead through the first half-mile. Up front, Plutonium and Becky’s Kitten swapped the lead in a sizzling :22.73, :45.87, and 1:11.09, a pace that would not hold for the 1 1/8-mile distance. Meanwhile, Wealth to Me had broken poorly, was nearly 18 lengths off the lead at the half-mile mark, and still nearly 12 lengths back after six of the nine furlongs.

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Saturday, December 17 2011

Graded Winners Head Big Prairie Bayou Field

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 16, 2011 – The $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday has drawn a competitive field of 11, led by graded stakes winners Proceed Bee and Mad Flatter.

Mad Flatter comes in to the 1 1/8-mile Prairie Bayou off a third place finish at that distance in the Carl Rose Classic at Calder a month ago. Two races back he was first in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck, a half-furlong shorter and also at Calder. He has won on all-weather tracks and trains on the Keeneland Polytrack, so his first trip to Turfway should throw him no curves. Mad Flatter races on or near the lead, and breaking from the six post should not compromise that style. Jon Court will ride for trainer Jeff Thornbury.

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Thursday, December 15 2011

Turfway Lowers Pick 4 Takeout to 14 Percent

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 15, 2011 – The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has approved Turfway Park’s request to lower takeout on its Pick 4 wager from 22 percent to 14 percent, effective January 1.

The approval was given at the Commission’s regular meeting on Dec. 14.

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Thursday, December 08 2011

La Gran Bailadora heads Turfway’s My Charmer Stakes

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 8, 2011 – La Gran Bailadora loves Turfway Park and gets another chance to prove it this Saturday in the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes.

Winner of the Grade 3 Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff here in September and Grade 1-placed, La Gran Bailadora is the class of the My Charmer, which drew a dozen fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. She has four wins, one second, and one third in six races on the Turfway Polytrack, and in 11 starts on all-weather surfaces here and elsewhere has missed the money only twice.

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Sunday, December 04 2011

Determined Fortune Play Takes Holiday Inaugural

FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 3, 2011 – Fortune Play had the far outside post and raced widest down the backstretch, but she dug in to hit the wire first at Turfway Park Saturday, taking the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes by a head over Waccamaw. Hyperlink was another 2 1/2 lengths behind in third.

Pushed through half a mile by Five Star Fun, Waccamaw set a hot pace, marking the first quarter of the six furlongs in :22 flat, the half-mile in :45.21, and five furlongs in :57.93. Fortune Play raced close to the pace but wide to the top of the turn, and as Five Star Fun gave in, jockey Ramon Vazquez set Fortune Play down to challenge Waccamaw on the turn for home. Fortune Play wrested the lead away in deep stretch but Waccamaw came again, forcing Fortune Play to dig for more and give it a stride or two before the wire. Final time was 1:11.62.

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