Thursday, September 29, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 29, 2005 . . . A competitive field of older horses will fill the gate for the $100,000 Grade III Turfway Park Fall Championship on Saturday, the last stakes of Turfway’s fall meet.
Trainer Bob Baffert elected not to send turf specialist Senor Swinger to the Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic but found a spot for him in the one-mile Fall Championship. Senor Swinger comes in off two fifth-place finishes, one behind Kitten’s Joy and America Alive in the Firecracker (G2) at Churchill Downs and the most recent behind Leroidesanimaux in the Fourstardave (G2) at Saratoga. Though he has been inconsistent and his last win dates to Churchill’s Opening Verse Handicap last June, he has trained well over Polytrack since early September. Brice Blanc rides.
Nkosi Reigns comes in from Chicago for trainer Christine Janks. Although he has spent most of his 11-race career in moderate allowance ranks, he has missed the money just once and last out won the Cigar Stakes at Arlington Park. In his lone Grade III attempt to date, the Hanshin at Arlington, he finished third behind Lord of the Game. New to Turfway, he has performed well on both dirt and turf and gets the rider who knows him best and rates him well, Christopher Emigh.
With four wins, including one on Polytrack, three seconds, and two thirds in nine starts at Turfway, Paging has the most experience over the track. He closed to win his most recent start here, a one-mile optional claimer. At seven he’s the senior member of the field, but with eight in-the-money finishes in 10 tries this year, he is running as consistently as ever. Willie Martinez rides for trainer Bernard Flint.
One Nice Cat returns from the Kentucky Cup Classic, where he finished fifth. Leading rider Jesus Castanon had that mount last out but this time opts for Artemis Sunrise, a Steve Flint trainee who will likely go for the early lead. Trainer Bob Holthus brings two, turf runner Mighty Military under Calvin Borel and Pro Prado under regular rider John McKee. D. Wayne Lukas turns With Distinction around a week off the Marfa Stakes, where he finished third after a stretch battle with Korbyn Gold; both finished behind Level Playingfield’s stunning closing run. With Distinction will be ridden by Orlando Mojica.
Also lining up for the Fall Championship are Chippewa Trail (jockey Dean Sarvis); Wiggins (Mark Guidry); Stormy Impact (Timothy Thornton); and Old Deuteronomy (Larry Melancon). Mr. Krisley (James Graham) will run in the event of a scratch.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free.