Sunday, February 22, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 22, 2004 . . . The 33rd running of the $500,000 Lane’s End Stakes (G2), slated for March 20 at Turfway Park, has attracted 147 nominations from some of racing’s most competitive connections. The number represents a nearly 4 percent increase in nominations over last year.
Two Lane’s End potentials come from the stable of trainer Richard Violette Jr.: the explosive Read the Footnotes and SwingfortheFences, both impressive under Jerry Bailey at Gulfstream earlier this month. Both are owned by Klaravich Stables, Inc.
Trainer Nick Zito put up eight nominations, including Marylou Whitney Stable’s Birdstone. Zito also listed El Prado Rob, fourth behind Read the Footnotes and Second of June in the Fountain of Youth (G2), and Buckram Oak Farm’s Eurosilver, who polished off his two-year-old season with the Lane’s End Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Buckram Oak Farm also owns Silver Wagon, trained by Ralph Ziadie and third in the Fountain of Youth.
Todd Pletcher pulled from his deep bench to name 25 to the Lane’s End, including the versatile Ashado, owned by Starlight Stables LLC, Paul Saylor and John Martin and one of two fillies nominated; Limehouse, from the Dogwood Stable of Cot Campbell; and Value Plus, a strong winner at Gulfstream last weekend.
Richard Mandella, who owned half the 2003 Breeders’ Cup, nominated Minister Eric for the Diamond A Racing Corporation of Gerald Ford. The colt was second behind Action This Day in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita.
Mr. Jester and Pomeroy have both been named, potentially reprising their matchup in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park when Pomeroy finished first but lost to Mr. Jester by disqualification. Patrick Biancone named Pomeroy for owners Derrick Smith and Michael Tabor, who also own Chapel Royal, another Pletcher nominee and second to Birdstone in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont.
Nominee and Turfway favorite Silver Minister is following the path set last year by trainer Greg Foley for Champali, third in the 2003 Lane’s End. Silver Minister has won both the Turfway Prevue and the WEBN Stakes, both preps for next weekend’s $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial. The Battaglia is the last prep here for the Lane’s End Stakes.
Also nominated are Fire Slam and Shadowland, one-two in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) at Fair Grounds in January; and Neil Howard’s Breakaway, who won his last allowance outing at Fair Grounds by 9 1/2 lengths, and Gradepoint, Risen Star (G3) winner.
Horses nominated to the Lane’s End Stakes are automatically nominated to the John Battaglia Memorial, the Rushaway Stakes, and the Hansel Stakes, the latter two part of the Lane’s End Stakes undercard.
The complete list of nominees is available at http://www.turfway.com/racing/winter04/2004leNominations.htm.
The 2004 running of the race is the third sponsored by the premier Thoroughbred operation Lane’s End Farm of Versailles, Kentucky.
First post on March 20 is 12:30 p.m. EST.