Thursday, March 2, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 2, 2006 . . . A few pieces of the Lane’s End Stakes puzzle will fall into place this Saturday at Turfway Park with the 24th running of the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes. Following the Turfway Prevue Stakes in January and the WEBN Stakes last month, the John Battaglia Memorial is the last of three local preps for the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes.
Warrior Within returns for the Battaglia Memorial after finishing second in the Turfway Prevue and first in the WEBN. Although he trains at Churchill, he is two for three over Polytrack. The 1 1/16-mile Battaglia distance may test his preference for the early lead. Jockey Dean Sarvis is back aboard for trainer Daniel “Speedy” Smithwick Jr.
Also likely to be seeking the lead is Malameeze, runner-up in the WEBN. Trained by Bobby Barnett, Malameeze has two fourth-place finishes at this distance, one a distant fourth in the Grade III Risen Star Stakes behind the streaking Lawyer Ron. Willie Martinez has the mount.
Jesus Castanon returns to ride Go Bucky Go for Greg Foley, the meet’s leading trainer. Go Bucky Go has two wins and a second in three career starts, but the Battaglia will be his first try at two turns. He has shown nothing but speed in his races so far, and he owns a win and a recent bullet work over Polytrack.
Leading rider Julien Leparoux takes first call for trainer Patrick Biancone aboard Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro broke his maiden at Saratoga last August, and his next start, a mile at Santa Anita, came five months later. The Battaglia Memorial will be his second start off that layoff, and he brings with him a patient closing style that will serve him well if the speed wears itself out on the front. Kilimanjaro has never raced at Turfway but posted three straight bullet works over Polytrack in the last two weeks.
Also lining up for the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes will be With a City (jockey Dean Butler); Laity (Corey Lanerie), off since November; New Awakening (Casey Chavez); Pair of Kings (Richard Bracho); Readily (Jason Lumpkins); Skeleton Crew (Phil Teator); Trailing Twelve (Eddie Martin Jr.); and Temporary Saint (Rodney Prescott).
The day also features a send-off for Brass Hat, the local-horse-made-good who is on his way to the $6 million Dubai World Cup. The presentation will be made between the seventh and eighth races on the 12-race card.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free.