Saturday, January 24, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 24, 2004 . . . Twin Talk took the early lead as expected in the Forego Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, and Founding Chairman caught and matched him stride for stride through four of the six-and-a-half furlongs, but Jason Lumpkins had Doc D in perfect position to disappoint both of them just before the wire.
“I saw those two hook up,” said Lumpkins. “I was pretty confident; I had a lot of horse. Right at the quarter pole I started strapping him a little bit, picked him up, and he went to his right lead. He responded when I asked him. Our horse ran good.”
Founding Chairman was looking for his second straight stakes win at Turfway. His victory in the Holiday Cheer in December, also under Tony D’Amico, earned him 122 pounds for the Forego, top weight in the field of eight. He finished half a length behind Doc D after going head-to-head with Mark Johnston’s mount, Twin Talk, through most of the race. Twin Talk backed up to fourth in the final half-furlong. Mr Bassett was good for third under jockey Billy Troilo.
“I knew D’Amico’s horse was carrying [five] extra pounds from the last time [in the Holiday Cheer],” Lumpkins said. “Last time I was on Dale Romans’ horse [Dubai Sheikh]. Bejarano picked that mount up today. Those were the two horses I was worried about today, Dubai Sheikh, and D’Amico’s horse.”
Dubai Sheikh, the even-money favorite, was kept in the chase along the rail but failed to respond when asked and finished fifth. Completing the Forego’s order of finish were Crowned Dancer (Eddie Zuniga), Gallatin Kid (Jeff Johnston), and Holiday Doc (Rodney Prescott). Wild Lies was scratched.
The Forego was Doc D’s second race on dirt after a series of turf routes. He finished third in his last race, the 1 1/8-mile Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway in mid-December. “I got a tip from a friend recently that this horse probably should be closing sprints on dirt instead of closing distances on turf,” said winning trainer Eric Reed. “We decided to try it and this looked like a good spot.”
The decision to go for shorter dirt was a nod to Doc D’s pedigree; in 1994 his sire, Strodes Creek, finished second in the Kentucky Derby and third in both the Belmont Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby. Doc D is owned by John W. Rooker.
Carrying 115 pounds, Doc D was the sixth choice at 12-1 and paid $26.60 for the win. He finished his task in 1:17.64 over a track rated fast.
Racing continues Sunday at Turfway Park. Post time is 1:10 p.m. EST.