Saturday, September 25, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 25, 2004 . . . Private Horde made good on his return to Turfway Park Saturday, leading wire to wire to win the $75,000 Marfa Stakes for the second straight year. It was the five year old’s first win since March, when he visited the Turfway Park winner’s circle after an allowance race. His record for 2004 stands at two wins and three seconds in seven tries. He has six wins and one second in 10 lifetime starts at Turfway.
The first quarter went in :23.26, but the pace picked up when Mountain General came head to head with Private Horde, and the half was clocked in :45.78. Private Horde moved ahead down the stretch and maintained enough momentum to keep a 3/4-length victory safe. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:16.18 over a fast track. The winner paid $11.00, $4.60, and $2.60.
“He was coming in to the race real good. I liked his shot today,” said trainer Joe Cain. Commenting on the horse’s previous race, a second-place finish after a two-month layoff, Cain said, “I took him to [Hoosier Park in] Indiana—I knew he would need that race—and I ran into a bear up there, that Mr. Mink. I took him there just to work and we got more than a work—we got beat.” Asked about Private Horde’s return to form, Cain said, “I think he’s as good today as I can get him. I think he’s on top of his game today.”
Said winning rider Orlando Mojica, “He broke clean, and I took a good hold. I knew I was maybe going to win because I had plenty of horse, a lot of horse. I never had to ride him hard. I used my stick a couple of times because he started looking at the other horse [Mountain General] getting close to him.”
Mountain General, the 9-5 post-time favorite under Dean Butler and the winner of this race in 2002, kept second. Sterling Gold (Willie Martinez) was 2 3/4 lengths back in third. Eight-year-old Sea of Tranquility (Mathieu Adam), who won the Marfa in 2000, was an equal distance back in fourth. Full of Luck (Jeff Johnston), the long shot at 52-1 and the only horse with odds greater than 5-1, was fifth. Unbridled America (John McKee) was last in the short field.
Bejarano gets two of four stakes at Kentucky Downs
Riding at Kentucky Downs today, Rafael Bejarano won the $100,000 Turf Dash and the $100,000 Mile, two of the four stakes that make up the $500,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Festival. The wins brought Bejarano’s total for the all-turf meet to eight, a new record.
Kentucky Downs, a European-style grass course on the Kentucky-Tennessee border, is open for live racing just six days or seven days each year. The facility is a sister track to Turfway Park, and its six races on Saturday were commingled by simulcast with Turfway’s 10 live races.
Racing resumes Sunday at Turfway with 10 races scheduled. First post is 1:10 p.m.