Thursday, December 11, 2003 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 11, 2003 . . . With three stakes wins in his last five races, Sonic West should have something to say about the outcome of this Saturday’s $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park. The race covers 1 1/8 miles and has drawn a nearly full field of 11 horses and geldings.
A four-year-old, Sonic West won the $75,000 Fall Stakes and the $100,000 Mountaineer Mile Handicap at Mountaineer Park this fall and the $75,000 Governor’s Handicap at Ellis Park in late summer. He twice ventured into graded territory during that time, finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Fayette Stakes at Keeneland and a well-beaten eighth in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs. Trainer Thomas Van Berg has him back among more familiar competition in this race. Jockey Willie Martinez returns to ride Sonic West, replacing Rafael Bejarano, who rode the gelding in all five of his stakes attempts.
The hot-riding Bejarano will instead be aboard Ask the Lord, who is co-highweight with Sonic West at 122 pounds. The six-year-old’s last win came in his last start, an $80,000 allowance optional claiming race at Churchill Downs. He has back-to-back wins in high-grade allowance company since being claimed by co-owner/trainer Bernard Flint, Turfway’s perennial meet winner. Ask the Lord has finished in the money or on the board in six stakes races this year, including a second in the Grade 3 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn in February and a win in the $50,000 Cigar Handicap at Arlington Park in August. [corrected 12/12/03]
An intriguing addition to the field is Foster’s Landing, who has been on the dirt for just eight of his 29 lifetime starts. But since Dale Romans is the trainer, it’s safe to assume that PPs don’t mean everything. Romans is fresh off a meet win as leading trainer at Churchill and shows no sign of downshifting at Turfway. Through last night he has five firsts, one second, and three thirds from 12 starters in Turfway’s Holiday Meet. A five-year-old, Foster’s Landing carries 116 pounds and jockey Craig Perret.
Also lining up for the ninth running of the Prairie Bayou are Doc D (Jason Lumpkins, 118), Play It Out (Daniel Coa, 116), Grey Beard (Dean Butler, 116), Wild Lies (Justin Shepherd, 116), Woostershear (Greta Kuntzweiler, 116), Brent’s Victory (Anthony D’Amico, 116), Brian’s Echo (Rodney Prescott, 116), and Ide Be Spencers (Mark Johnston, 116).
First post at Turfway Park on Saturday is 1:10 p.m. EST. General admission and parking are free.