Monday, January 9, 2006 12:00 AM
Lane’s End Stakes hat giveaway also planned
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 9, 2006 . . . Speed is the distinguishing mark of the field entered for the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway Park this Saturday. Of the 11 fillies and mares set to line up for the one-mile race, seven have shown a decided preference for being on the lead or close to it.
A cool and collected stalking trip earned Cat Quatorze her first stakes win in the Likely Exchange at Turfway last month, and she and leading rider Julien Leparoux return in the Wintergreen to try for their third win in a row. Trained by Helen Pitts, Cat Quatorze has back-to-back wins over Polytrack at this distance.
One who likes the view from the front is Darling Daughter, who steps back to the Wintergreen after finishing third in her first stakes attempt, the Grade III Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream. The Wintergreen gives her one less furlong to run, and though she is new to Polytrack, her jockey, Jesus Castanon, is not. Darling Daughter is trained by Dale Romans.
Another speedster is Listen, making her stakes debut for trainer Rebecca Maker. Listen is undefeated in three career starts, all at Turfway. The Wintergreen will be her first try at two turns but she won her last race, a first-level allowance, by 9 1/2 easy lengths. Richard Bracho rides.
If the speed runs out before the wire, Cercatore could be perfectly willing to fill the void. Also trained by Maker, Cercatore closes well and has two wins in four tries at Turfway, both at the distance. She was second in her other two attempts, both times finishing behind Cat Quatorze. Inosencio Diego rides.
Also entered in the Wintergreen are Plumlake Lady (jockey Eddie Zuniga), a stakes winner who is two for four over Polytrack; Rimroc Gold (Rafael Mojica Jr.), another who can close and who will like Wintergreen’s extra distance; Ella Belle (Willie Martinez), looking for her second win in a row; Truely Ruby (Mary Doser); Quite a Ruckus (Jason Lumpkins), who set the early pace in the Likely Exchange and held a game third; Lenatareese (Rodney Prescott); and Ayla Belle (Eddie Martin Jr.).
Saturday is also Lane’s End Stakes hat day. The first 1,500 patrons through the gates will receive a free 2006 Lane’s End Stakes hat. Gates open at 11:15 a.m. First post is 1:10 p.m.