Tuesday, March 22, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 22, 2005 . . . Plans for this Saturday’s Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway Park continue to solidify.
Commenting on his decision to run Texcess in the Lane’s End Stakes, trainer Paul Aquirre said, “The horse is doing great. I wanted to run him in the Louisiana Derby but he wasn’t ready. This is another race with a lot of money and it fits our schedule. This race should tell us where to go. If we don’t run one or two, we’ll probably point to something back home, maybe the Snow Chief [on April 24] at Hollywood Park.”
Aguirre has decided to run Texcess without blinkers, saying, “He has a tendency to pull himself up when he makes the lead. This will help him relax.”
Texcess had his last work on Monday at Hollywood Park, going 4 furlongs in :46.60, third-fastest of 43 at the distance. “He worked a little faster than I’d like him to, but he came back fine, not blowing hard or anything, so we’re happy with where he’s at,” said Aquirre of the work. Texcess has arrived in the Turfway Park stakes barn.
Diamond Isle and Wild Desert, both trained by Ken McPeek, will arrive at Churchill Downs on Wednesday and then van up to Turfway on Saturday. Both are headed for the Lane’s End Stakes. “I was thinking of sending one here and the other one to the Rushaway, but they both breezed super together on Sunday,” said McPeek. “I couldn’t ask them to be doing any better coming into the race.” The two colts breezed together at Gulfstream Park, going five furlongs in 1:00.80, sixth-fastest of 21 at the distance.
McPeek will be absent from Turfway on Saturday to saddle Prince Arch in the $6 million Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse the same day.
Mayan King will ship from New York on Wednesday and arrive at Turfway that night. “He's doing great right now," said assistant trainer Frank Amonte. "He's done nothing wrong, and I don't think [trainer] Gary [Contessa] would send him down for this race if he didn't think he had a good horse." Contessa will arrive from Florida on Saturday to saddle Mayan King.
Flower Alley will leave Palm Meadows on Wednesday and arrive late that night or early Thursday. "He was very impressive in breaking his maiden at Gulfstream in his last start," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "He has come back to train well, and put in a good breeze on Sunday.” Jorge Chavez will fly in for the mount.
Andromeda’s Hero, from the first crop of the 2000 Kentucky Derby winner, Fusaichi Pegasus, is expected at Turfway on Thursday. His owner, Robert LaPenta, will arrive Saturday.
Magna Graduate added a bit to his final work on Monday. "He breezed good," trainer Pat Byrne said. "He breezed four furlongs in :48 and galloped out in 1:01. I am very pleased with that work going into the Lane's End.” Jockey Orlando Mojica was aboard for the work.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas will settle Silent Bid into his stable at Churchill Downs and then send him to Turfway Saturday morning.
"He breezed good the other day," trainer Todd Pletcher said of the Rushaway’s likely favorite, Proud Accolade. "We missed some time with him when he was sick, so I am pleased how he is coming into the race. Obviously our long term goal does not just include the Rushaway Stakes, so hopefully we can use this as a stepping stone for some big races down the road."
A minor illness forced Proud Accolade to miss the March 12 Louisiana Derby. The colt will ship in to the Turfway stakes barn on Wednesday.
Catch Me breezed right after stablemate Magna Graduate on Monday, going four furlongs in :48 and galloping out five in 1:01 with regular pilot Orlando Mojica in the saddle. Catch Me will ship up from Churchill Downs on Saturday, said trainer Patrick Byrne.
Daddy Joe, one-third of the Paragallo-Pedersen-Arroyo contingent, will arrive on Wednesday and can be seen at the Turfway stakes barn on Thursday.
Melissa’s Comet breezed at Gulfstream on Sunday, going five furlongs in 1:01.60, 11th of 21 at that distance that day. "He has won a couple of races over the Turfway surface, so we know he has a proficiency for it," trainer Ken McPeek commented. Melissa’s Comet will ship to Churchill Downs on Wednesday and come up to Turfway on Saturday. Gary Stevens has the ride.
Sterlingprospector, trained by Mitch Shirota, will arrive on Saturday from Churchill Downs. Said Shirota, “He’s doing good. He broke his maiden down in Florida. Before that we ran against Bandini and Noble Causeway, so we ran into some tough horses. He hasn’t gone around two turns yet, but he acts like he should handle it. I expect him to be near the front, but you never know.”
Sterlingprospector most recently worked at Palm Meadows on Saturday, going five furlongs in 1:02.60. Dean Sarvis will have the ride in the Rushaway.
Still on the fence for the Rushaway are Evil Minister, trained by Erik Juvonen, and So Swanky, trained by Graham Motion.
Tomorrow: probables for the Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup, Hansel Stakes, and Queen Stakes.