Thursday, March 30, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 30, 2006 . . . Ella Belle will try for her second straight stakes win and her third win in a row Saturday in Turfway Park’s Fairway Fun Stakes, a 1 1/6-mile race for older fillies and mares. Twelve competitors will line up for the $50,000 Fairway Fun, the last stakes race of the Turfway Park Winter/Spring Meet, which closes April 6.
Ella Belle has run in the money in every one of her seven Turfway starts, with four wins, one second, and two thirds at the track. Her last win, a decisive front-running effort, came in the Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway three weeks ago. The four-year-old filly gets the benefit of her regular rider, Willie Martinez. William “Buff” Bradley trains.
Both Quite a Ruckus and Darling Daughter are back from their respective third- and fourth-place finishes in the Wintergreen to try Ella Belle again. Quite a Ruckus, with Turfway newcomer Carlos Olivero to ride, has hit the board for trainer Gregory Fox in each of her six starts on Polytrack. Darling Daughter, third in the Grade III Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream Park two starts back, will be making her second start on Polytrack. Dean Butler rides for trainer Dale Romans.
All three of the Wintergreen alumnae like the early lead, which may set up the race for Gallant Secret, who was third in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks last year and comes in to the Fairway Fun off a good allowance win. Another who could pick up the pieces of early speed is Tappin for Gold, who has not raced since winning the second division of the My Charmer Stakes last December.
The Fairway Fun has attracted three turf runners, including Age of Mythology, making her first start in the U.S. for trainer Patrick Biancone; Cape Hope, looking for the form that earned her the Grade III Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream a year ago; and Unbridled Echo, trying to win outright after being placed first in a first-level allowance at Tampa Bay Downs earlier this month.
The 12-horse Fairway Fun field with riders: Darling Daughter (Butler), Age of Mythology (Julien Leparoux), Quite a Ruckus (Olivero), Wendy’s On to Me (Inosencio Diego), Cape Hope (Brice Blanc), Casuarina (Rafael Mojica Jr.), Tappin for Gold (Jesus Castanon), Unbridled Echo (Jose Castanon), Ella Belle (Martinez), Character Builder (Eddie Martin Jr.), Gallant Secret (James Graham), and Tru Attitude (Juan Molina Jr.). On the also-eligible list are Campionessa and La Tache.
With sunshine and mild temperatures in the forecast, first post on Saturday is 1:10 p.m.