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Ball Four returns to action in Tejano Run

Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:00 AM
  • General
  • Spiral Stakes
Saturday is Lane’s End glass giveaway day
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 16, 2006 . . . The $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday could be comeback time for Ball Four, last seen at Turfway finishing second in the Kentucky Cup Classic (G2). He followed that race with an eighth-place finish in the 1 1/2 mile Sycamore Breeders’ Cup (G3) on the turf at Keeneland last October but has been out of action since then. The layoff poses a question, as does his preference for speed in a 1 1/8-mile contest. On the plus side, he has been working well over Polytrack, posting a bullet on Thursday, and the Tejano Run is a step back from his two most recent efforts. Leading rider Julien Leparoux rides for trainer Patrick Biancone.

Ball Four will face 10 rivals in the 1 1/8 mile Tejano Run, among them the iron horse Ask the Lord. Now nine years old, the tough Lord at War gelding returns to Turfway for his 62nd start. He comes in off back-to-back wins in strong optional claiming races on Polytrack and has a relaxed closing style that serves him well. With Leparoux on Ball Four, Ask the Lord gets the services of the Holiday Meet’s leading rider, Jesus Castanon. Bernard Flint trains.

Esprit Du Roi will try to earn his second consecutive stakes victory in the Tejano Run. In his last race he took long odds and a very early lead all the way home to win the one-mile Dust Commander Stakes. He increased his lead slightly in the stretch in that race so could get the extra furlong of the Tejano Run, but this will be his first try at the distance. Godofredo Laurente rides for owner/trainer Horacio Parisi.

Also entered in the Tejano Run are Plumwood (jockey Victor Lebron); Royal Gem (Inosencio Diego); Collateral Damage (Dean Sarvis); Doc D (Jason Lumpkins); Alpha Tejano, a son of the stakes winner and accomplished sire for whom the race is named (Rodney Prescott); Eroberer (Richard Bracho); Azucar (Eddie Martin Jr.); and Bullion (Rafael Mojica Jr.).

The first 1,500 fans through the gates Saturday will receive a free souvenir glass commemorating the 2006 Lane’s End Stakes. This edition marks the 27th year a collectible glass has been produced to commemorate Turfway’s signature race.

First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Gates open at 11:15 a.m.

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