Friday, March 12, 2004 12:00 AM
Tony D'Amico on Strike Rate takes rescheduled Wintergreen
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 12, 2004 . . . After three times tying the Turfway Park record for most wins on one card, jockey Rafael Bejarano now holds the distinction by himself. The 21-year-old Peruvian won seven of Turfway’s 12 races Friday night, topping the track record of six wins first set by Kris Prather in 2001.
Bejarano won six races January 2, his first day back at Turfway after spending 11 days in Peru; six February 28, including the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes; and six Friday before breaking the record with his seventh win in the 10th race.
Bejarano leads all jockeys nationwide with 111 wins. He has 109 wins at Turfway for the Winter/Spring Meet, two behind the track record set last year by Jason Lumpkins. Bejarano has won four races on a card nine times during the meet and five races twice. Fourteen days remain in the meet, which began January 1.
Among Bejarano’s wins since January 1 are the $50,000 Turfway Prevue, the $50,000 WEBN Stakes, and the Battaglia, all aboard Silver Minister, who is headed for the $500,000 Lane’s End Stakes on March 20. Bejarano also won the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes aboard Saratoga Humor during the current meet.
The bettors thought Bejarano would break the record aboard Glitter Act in the ninth race, the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes, run Friday after track conditions forced a mid-card cancellation the previous Saturday. Sent off as the 4-5 favorite, Glitter Act dueled with Bonay through quick early splits of :22.59 and :46.03, swung wide at the final turn, and was passed on the inside by Strike Rate. River Flower, Mary Doser up, challenged the new leader and those two needed a photo to separate them. Strike Rate held the advantage by a nose at the wire. Mariaworth, ridden by Billy Troilo, closed to finish third. Glitter Act was fourth.
“She runs spotty,” said winning rider Tony D’Amico, “but when it was time to go she knew it. She’s game. We were sitting third on the rail, and when the leader went wide, my horse moved right up.”
Off at 6-1, Strike Rate paid $14.00, $6.60, and $4.80 after finishing the mile course over a fast track in 1:36.87. Winning trainer was Dale Romans, who also trains Glitter Act. Winning owners were Bill Graves and Dennis Lynch. Completing the order of finish were Remiewaterbluz (Dean Sarvis); Stonebridge Lady (Eddie Zuniga), also a Romans trainee; S’more Smoke (Rodney Prescott); and Bonay (Dean Butler).
Racing continues Saturday at Turfway at 1:10 p.m. EST, including the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes.