Monday, March 20, 2006 12:00 AM
Lane's End probables would fill the gate
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 20, 2006 . . .Although the chess game that marks Derby prep entries is still in progress, next Saturday’s $500,000 Lane’s End Stakes (G2) looks on target to draw a full or nearly full field. On the probables list to date—with some holding the Rushaway Stakes in reserve—are In a Flash (trainer Patrick Biancone); Laity (Frank Brothers); Malameeze, (Bobby Barnett); More Than Regal (Steve Asmussen); Pair of Kings (William “Buff” Bradley); Seaside Retreat (Mark Casse); Silent Times (Eoghan O’Neill); Special Interest (D. Wayne Lukas); Starspangled Gator (William Gowan); Strong Contender (John Ward); Tahoe Warrior (Todd Pletcher); and With A City (Michael Maker).
Strong Contender is ready to go and will arrive at Turfway later this week. Said John Ward, "He galloped 1 1/2 miles this morning [Monday], and he has completed all of his gate work and his schooling down here in Florida. He will ship up on Wednesday afternoon and arrive sometime on Thursday. That will be the last anyone sees of him until race day." Edgar Prado has been named to ride.
Ward cited the timing of the race, the options available after the race, and the installation of Polytrack as reasons for choosing this spot for Strong Contender. The three-year-old son of Maria's Mon trained over Keeneland’s Polytrack training track as a two-year-old last fall.
Frank Brothers is still weighing the Lane’s End and the Rushaway for Laity, who won the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway earlier this month. "The horse is training well,” he said, “but we likely won't make our decision between the Rushaway and the Lane's End until Thursday morning.
"The horse ran two bad races at the end of his two-year-old campaign, so we stopped on him, brought him back as a castrated horse and he ran a good race [to win the Battaglia Memorial]. I think he will fit well in either spot." Corey Lanerie, who was aboard for the earlier win, will ride Laity.
Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup now Grade III
Elevated this year to Grade III status, the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup for 3-year-old fillies is looking likely for at least eight runners, with others possible as the race shapes up. Probables are Champagne N Glory (trainer Ernest Retamoza Sr.); Classical Ryder (Donald Hughes Sr.); Coronado’s Vision (Brothers); Dance Daily (Lukas); Lady Danza (Helen Pitts); Lemons Forever (Dallas Stewart); Sabatini (Biancone); and Top Notch Lady (Casse).
Noting that Coronado’s Vision has never run in a stakes before, Brothers said, “We like this spot for her. The race always comes up tough but we think we should take a chance."
Full field likely for Rushaway Stakes
While trainers are still weighing their options, those currently looking toward the Rushaway Stakes are Bear Character (Reade Baker); Fidrych (John Servis); High Cotton (Pletcher); Irish Majesty (Dale Romans); Kings Challenge (Robert Holthus); Mark of Success (Stewart); New Awakening (John Good); Sadler's Trick (Biancone); Skeleton Crew (Patrick Huffman); Triptanic (Mike Crowder); and Warrior Within (Daniel Smithwick Jr.).
The Rushaway, also for 3-year-olds, covers 1 1/16 miles.
Hot Storm returns for Queen Stakes
Three-time Turfway stakes winner Hot Storm will likely return for the $50,000 Queen Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares four years old and up. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Hot Storm brought home Turfway trophies from the Weekend Delight, Holiday Inaugural, and the Wishing Well stakes before winning this year’s Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint for trainer Dallas Stewart. To date, other headliners likely for the Queen are Very Vegas (trainer Nick Canani), second to Hot Storm in the Wishing Well, and Listen (Rebecca Maker).
Also on the Lane’s End undercard is the Hansel Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds.
The day’s details
The Lane’s End Stakes is the 10th of 12 races on Saturday. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate simulcasting from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse in Dubai, including the $6 million Dubai World Cup. First live race at Turfway will go off at 1:10 p.m.
Both the Lane’s End and the Rushaway will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Remaining reserved seats for Lane’s End Stakes Day range from $15 to $80, some with buffet service. General admission is $10. Parking is free. Valet parking is $5. Tickets are available by calling (859) 371-0200. The Maker’s Mark VIP Tent, expanded this year, is sold out.
Oscar Robertson, Maker’s Mark president Bill Samuels Jr., and Turfway Park president Robert Elliston will be on hand from 10 a.m. to noon to sign this year’s Maker’s Mark bottle commemorating the Lane’s End Stakes. The signing will take place on the second floor of the Turfway Park grandstand. Those bringing bottles to be signed are not required to have tickets to the Lane’s End Stakes. Limit two bottles signed per person.