Friday, December 3, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 3, 2004 . . . With impressive wins in the 2003 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies and this year’s Bourbonette Stakes, Class Above will feel right at home at Turfway Park this Saturday, when 11 fillies and mares try the six-furlong $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes.
While the Bourbonette marks her only victory in seven tries this year, Class Above has spent most of the year competing with the likes of Sightseek, Ashado, and Lady Tak. Previous trainer Kiaran McLaughlin put her in an optional claiming mile at Aqueduct in October and she finished third. Now that she’s found the money again, this Saturday’s small-stakes race at the shorter distance could help her remember the way to the winner’s circle. The Holiday Inaugural is her first race under Steve Asmussen’s tutelage. She carries the high weight at 121 pounds, including meet leader Ramsey Zimmerman.
Golden Marlin also brings a track record of success to the Holiday Inaugural. Steady consistent, and bankable, she’s raced every month since April and finished no worse than fourth, including good allowance efforts at Keeneland and Churchill. She has two wins and three seconds at Turfway, including a second in the Weekend Delight Stakes this fall. She will carry 116 pounds. Dean Sarvis has the mount for trainer Greg Foley.
New to the track is Private Opinion, who in three outings has shown speed, guts, and a willingness to learn. After cruising on the lead to an 8 1/2-length win at Ellis Park in her first start, she jumped to Keeneland allowance company and lost by just a head after a long stretch drive. In her third race, she pressed the leader and won by two lengths at Churchill. Saturday she carries 117 pounds as she steps up to stakes ranks for trainer Patrick Byrne. Joe Johnson rides.
Assigned 120 pounds, Huntingthetruth ships in from Canada with five wins in her last seven tries. She closes steadily and could take advantage if Private Opinion finds herself contesting for the lead early. Willie Martinez rides for trainer Justin Nixon.
Other runners and their riders include Glitterbdancing (Perry Ouzts, 116); Silent Stream (Bill Troilo, 116); Stoic (Rafael Mojica, Jr., 115); Of Legal Age (Rodney Prescott, 116); Malo (Eddie Zuniga, 116); Revolutionary Act (Billy Patin, 118); My Ro (Tammy Fox, 116).
First post Saturday is 1:10. Admission and parking are free.