Saturday, December 27, 2003 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 27, 2003 . . . As expected, Wild Lies hurried to the lead in the $50,000 Holiday Cheer at Turfway Park this afternoon, but Founding Chairman was right behind and ready to roll when the leader tired.
Founding Chairman, one of two three-year-olds in the six-furlong sprint, had the lead by a head at the stretch call, and jockey Tony D’Amico moved him steadily up to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Dubai Sheikh was second under Jason Lumpkins. Wild Lies, ridden by Rodney Prescott, stayed in it to finish a neck back in third.
The victory was Founding Chairman’s first stakes win. The gelding is owned by C. E. Glasscock and Brad Ray.
Though Founding Chairman usually closes from mid-pack or farther back, trainer Wayne Mackey followed a different strategy for the Holiday Cheer. “We usually let him settle farther back,” Mackey said, “but it didn’t look like there was a lot of speed in the race. He’s the kind of horse that will do whatever you ask him to do, so we told Tony to gun him a little and get him up there.”
Riding Founding Chairman for the first time, D’Amico settled him half a length behind the leader at about the quarter-mile mark. He said, “I knew there wasn’t a lot of speed in the race—Wayne told me that—so I knew I had to be closer than usual. I didn’t think the 7 [Wild Lies] could go wire to wire, so I felt good where we were. I felt when we turned for home I had a lot of horse under me. I just wanted to be sure there wasn’t anything coming up from behind us, and that’s the way it worked out.”
The fourth choice at 6-1, Founding Chairman paid $15.20 to win. The winning time was 1:10.09 over a track rated good.
Dubai Sheikh, the post time odds-on favorite, settled into third, lost some ground around the turn, and then found enough to take him past both Wild Lies and nine-year-old Proven Cure. The latter, ridden by Joe Deegan, dropped back to fifth. Crowned Dancer, with Eddie Zuniga aboard, was fourth. Completing the field were Gallatin Kid (Jeff Johnston) and Golden Oldie (Jose Delgado).
Turfway Park continues its holiday schedule through New Year’s Day, with first post at 1:10 p.m. EST from Sunday, December 28, through Thursday, January 1, including Monday and Tuesday, December 29 and 30. The regular schedule returns Friday, January 2, the second day of the Winter/Spring Meet, with post time at 5:30 p.m. EST.