Saturday, December 13, 2003 12:00 AM
Bejarano wins five on the day; Prescott gets four
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 13, 2003 . . . Jockey Rafael Bejarano pushed Ask the Lord to a hold-your-breath victory today in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park, fighting side-by-side and stride-for-stride with Sonic West down the stretch. It was the kind of duel that makes you forget it’s 27 degrees and blowing snow. In the end the margin of victory was just a head. The win was Bejarano’s fourth of five on the day.
In second aboard Sonic West was Willie Martinez, who won last week’s My Charmer Stakes at Turfway on Affirmed Dancer.
Bejarano had been Sonic West’s regular rider, guiding him to wins in three of five stakes attempts over the last four months. Trainer Thomas Van Berg had considered not entering Sonic West in the Prairie Bayou, given the horse’s eighth-place finish in the Clark Handicap late last month, and decided to enter only after others, such as M B Sea, passed on the race. By then Bejarano had already committed to ride Ask the Lord, said the jockey’s agent, Steve Elzey.
“It was an outstanding race between two good horses,” said Elzey, “We had three stakes wins on Sonic West, and I hope we get a chance on him again.”
Ask the Lord and Sonic West were expected to lead the field and didn’t disappoint. Both riders settled back to track the pace until the far turn, and then the fight for the win began as pacesetters Wild Lies and Play It Out dropped back. Sonic West put a head in front in the stretch, but Ask the Lord came right back at him and the two matched strides right through the wire. Doc D was 4 1/4 back in third. Final time for the 1 1/8 mile course was 1:53.27 over a fast track. Ask the Lord is trained by Bernard Flint and owned by Flint’s LTB Inc. and R. A. Williams. The winner was the 7-5 favorite. Sonic West was second choice at 5-2.
Completing the order of finish in the Prairie Bayou were Foster’s Landing, Grey Beard, Ide Be Spencers, Play It Out, Woostershear, Brian’s Echo, and Wild Lies.
Bejarano streaking toward meet record
The win was the fourth of five on the day for Bejarano, who has saddled a hot streak at Turfway. Since the start of the Holiday Meet on November 30, he had ridden four winners on four days before moving up a notch to take five wins today. His other wins today came in the second race on Is This Heaven; the sixth race on Request Denied; the ninth race on Stash the Boots; and the 12th race on Bannerstone. Through today Bejarano has 30 wins, 20 seconds, and 13 thirds from 90 mounts. The record for Holiday Meet wins is 39, set in 1991 by Fabio Arguello, Jr. The 2003 Holiday Meet closes December 31.
Prescott gets four
Jockey Rodney Prescott had four wins on the day, starting with the first race aboard Timeless Search. Sent off as the even-money favorite, the four-year-old filly finished the six-furlongs in 1:14.38. Prescott scored next in the fourth race with Salutee, the favorite at 4-5. Macy’s Boy gave Prescott his next victory, winning the seventh by 5 1/2 lengths. The jockey’s fourth win on the day came in the eighth race aboard 7-1 Hallshill Road, who tracked the pace and won by half a length. Prescott now has 10 wins, 2 seconds, and 7 thirds from 66 mounts.
Jockey Golibrzuch injured
Jockey Siggy Golibrzuch was injured when his mount in the fifth race, Local Bum, reared in the paddock and fell on top of him. Golibrzuch was lifted onto a stretcher for transport by ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital West in Florence but walked into the emergency room under his own power. He suffered a gash on his hip but X-rays of the area were negative for fracture. He will be off for two or three days, according to his agent, Paul Phipps. The start of the fifth race was delayed about nine minutes.