Saturday, February 5, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 5, 2005 . . . Snack gobbled up the speed in the WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, showing again the bold closing run that looks like a trademark in the making. After winning the Turfway Prevue sprint last month in nearly identical fashion, the three-year-old colt was trying two turns for the first time in the one-mile WEBN, but trainer Michael Lauer had no doubts about his ability.
“That was never a thought in my mind,” Lauer said. “He has a half-brother that won at a mile-and-a-half, so I wasn’t worried about it. He’s got the pedigree. I wasn’t worried about the two turns. Now, how far [beyond that], I don’t know. But he ran very impressively today.”
As expected, Visionary and the filly Flexible Princess traded the early lead, with Cat Shaker right behind and taking over briefly with a quarter-mile to run. Catch Me made a well-timed move of his own from mid-pack but was passed in the process by Snack, who halfway through the race was last in the field of eight. Catch Me stayed in for second, three lengths behind the winner. Cat Shaker finished 4 1/2 lengths back in third, 8 3/4 lengths ahead of the filly Full of Fun in fourth.
“I sure appreciate the chance to ride the horse again,” said winning jockey Ramsey Zimmerman, who was aboard in the Turfway Prevue as well. “They were going pretty fast up front, but my horse, he’s pretty impressive. The way the races are going, with the mud that kicks back, it stings, but he focused in on the lead and just locked on it.”
Finishing fifth through eighth were Visionary, Southside Johnny B, Flexible Princess, and Safe Place. Dash of Class was scratched.
Co-favorite with Catch Me at 2-1, Snack finished the mile in the mud in 1:38.06 and paid $6.60 for the win. The win was the first of two in row on the day for Lauer, who won the 11th with the $35,000 claimer Standard Bearer.
Zimmerman said he plans to ride Turfway’s Sunday card and then take a few days’ vacation, after which he will move his tack to Tampa Bay Downs.
The WEBN Stakes has been sponsored since 2002 by Cincinnati radio station WEBN.
Racing continues Super Bowl Sunday with a special first post time of 12:00 noon.