Thursday, December 18, 2003 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 19, 2003 . . . Eleven two-year-old fillies face off in the six-furlong, $50,000 Gowell Stakes this Saturday at Turfway Park, and any one of several could add the stakes win to her resume.
Indiana-bred Down by the Sea brings the most starts and the best record to the Gowell and owns the only stakes wins in the field. She earned both at Hoosier Park, one the filly division of the $35,000 Indiana Stallion Stakes and the other the $70,000 Miss Indiana Stakes. Trained by Joseph Davis, she has four wins, one second and one third in her six career races. She comes in off three straight victories, all at Hoosier, and is the highweight at 121. Regular rider William Troilo will be up again.
Ready and Tough certainly could be. She has two straight emphatic wins behind her, a Keeneland maiden special weight that she won by 7-1/4 and a $45,000 allowance race at Churchill Downs that she won by 4-3/4. She was nearly gate-to-wire both times. She is a neck shy of being three-for-three, having lost her debut by that margin at Arlington Park.
The exclamation point in the Gowell could be Papa Sids Girl. Her only performance so far was a 4-1/2 furlong race at Keeneland back in April. She was 6-3/4 lengths behind the leader after two furlongs and then went six wide to win by 1-1/2. Cornelio Velasquez rode her way back when; Tony D’Amico gets the call on Saturday.
Like Down by the Sea, Keep This Cat likes the lead. Trainer Eric Reed thought enough of her to try for her maiden win in the $100,000 Showtime Deb at Hawthorne; she finished third. In the money in all four of her starts, she won for the first time on December 6 in a maiden special weight, also at Hawthorne. Jason Lumpkins has the mount.
Storming Way gets the benefit of jockey Rafael Bejarano, who Thursday set the record for most wins in a Holiday Meet with 40 in just 13 days. She has one win and one third from three starts, and returns to sprint distance after finishing eighth in the one-mile $100,000 Pocahontas Stakes.
Completing the field are Swift Trick, who broke her maiden here on the opening day of the Holiday Meet; Roller Girl and A Call for Gertie, who finished one-two here just eight days ago; Slewpy’s Storm, who won her only race by a nose at Churchhill Downs; Leading Lioness, who returns to the distance, class, and surface where she’s been most successful; and Oro’s Sugar, who broke her maiden at Hoosier but was second by eight lengths to Down by the Sea in her next attempt.
Post time Saturday is 1:10 p.m. EST. General admission and parking are free.