Saturday, September 20, 2003 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 20, 2003 . . . Private Horde got a tap from rider Terry Thompson at the three-eighths pole and got down to the business of winning the $75,000 Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park this afternoon.
Private Horde sat just a head behind second-choice Deer Lake at the half-mile call but edged up at Thompson’s reminder and took the lead down the stretch to win by a length. Deer Lake kept at it for second; Paging moved up in the stretch to finish 3¾ back for third. Bananas, sent off at almost 57-1, finished fourth.
“He really relaxes now,” Thompson said of Private Horde. “Last year when I rode him he was really on the bit. This time he had his ears up, just relaxing, so I tapped him and he took off. I didn’t have to ask him after that.”
Thompson, who had three previous starts on Private Horde over the last couple of years, replaced regular rider Jason Lumpkins for the day while the latter serves a suspension for a riding infraction. Trainer Joe Cain has said Lumpkins will regain the mount for Private Horde’s next race.
That race looks to be the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita October 25. “We’re still going to the Breeders’ Cup,” said Cain. “We’re happy. We got just the race we wanted today. They ran at him enough to make him work. If he’s still good in the next couple of days, we’re going.”
Already proven strong in the mud, Private Horde showed he could get it done on a fast track as well. Sent off as the odds-on favorite, he finished the 6½-furlong sprint in 1:16.17. The winner paid $3.20, $2.40, and $2.10.
Finishing fifth to last in the nine-horse field were Requesto; Exile Lark; City Rapid, who stayed with the leaders before fading in the stretch; Shah Jehan; and Still Be Smokin’.