Thursday, March 24, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 24, 2005 . . . The five stakes races that make up Lane’s End Stakes Day at Turfway Park this Saturday promise bettors plenty of possibilities. Nine horses are entered for the showcase event, the $500,000 Grade 2 Lane’s End Stakes, with Spanish Chestnut the morning-line favorite at 5-2 and Magna Graduate right behind at 3-1. Nine also will line up for the $50,000 Hansel Stakes and the $50,000 Queen Stakes. The Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup drew 11, and the Rushaway Stakes drew a full field of 12 despite the presence of Proud Accolade.
Trained by Patrick Biancone, Spanish Chestnut comes in to the Lane’s End Stakes off a third place finish in the Santa Catalina Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita on March 5. That result gains a bit more luster when the winner is considered: Declan’s Moon, judged the hottest Derby contender until he was sidelined with bone chips in his knee. Under jockey Gary Stevens, Spanish Chestnut will likely show the blazing speed he used to win the one-mile San Rafael Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita in January, when he led gate to wire, dueling all the way, and finished in 1:36.69.
Magna Graduate’s stock rose when Greater Good won the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn last weekend; the two met in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3) at Turfway last fall, with Magna Graduate finishing second. A versatile runner, Magna Graduate has won by going straight to the lead but can also rate, as he did to win the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway in his last outing. Jerry Bailey has the mount for trainer Patrick Byrne.
Robert LaPenta’s Andromeda’s Hero brings a victory in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay. The son of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus should sit right off the pace for jockey Rafael Bejarano before making a run at the early leaders. Trainer Nick Zito is attempting to win this race for the second time, having saddled the 1999 winner, Stephen Got Even.
Texcess also shows a penchant for staying just back of the leader, and he has shown he can come back after the lead if he loses it. His hefty $725,427 bankroll is mostly “new money” earned in the $1 million but ungraded Boyd’s Gaming Delta Jackpot, and the Lane’s End’s graded purse will go a long way toward the Kentucky Derby should entries exceed the maximum 20. Texcess has three wins, two seconds, and one third in six starts, the last coming in the San Rafael Stakes won by Spanish Chestnut. Paul Aguirre trains; Rene Douglas rides.
The field for the 34th running of the Lane’s End Stakes from the rail out: Diamond Isle (Dean Sarvis); Magna Graduate (Bailey); Wild Desert (Robby Albarado); Andromeda’s Hero (Bejarano); Flower Alley (Jorge Chavez); Texcess (Douglas); Mayan King (Joe Bravo); Spanish Chestnut (Stevens); and Mr Sword (Norberto Arroyo, Jr.).
The Rushaway Stakes
The Rushaway Stakes is likely to be dominated by Proud Accolade, trained by Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher. Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey will fly in from Florida for the ride. After impressively winning his first start at three, he was sidelined with an infection, and Pletcher thinks the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway distance is a good spot for his return.
Catch Me brings a well respected resume over the Turfway Park surface, winning two races and finishing second in the WEBN stakes on February 6, the last against a very tough Snack. He since returned to beat older foes on February 24. Orlando Mojica will ride for the third consecutive start.
The field for the 20th running of the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes from the rail out: Broke Sharply (Rafael Mojica, Jr.), Stormy Afternoon (Chavez); Catch Me (Orlando Mojica); Proud Accolade (Bailey); Raving Rocket (E.T. Baird); Melissa’s Comet (Stevens); Sterlingprospector (Sarvis); Spinfire (Albarado); Cat Shaker (Bravo); Mad Adam (Bill Troilo); Pinpoint (Bejarano); and Daddy Joe (Arroyo, Jr.)
The Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup
The Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup may be just as effective as the Lane’s End in leading horses to Churchill Downs in May. Six weeks from Friday, one or two fillies from this race may find themselves under the twin spires for the Kentucky Oaks.
Amazing Buy, a stakes-winning daughter of High Yield, has won her last four races. She started the year off right for Paraneck Stable and trainer Jennifer Pedersen, breaking her maiden by more than 10 lengths on January 1. She since has come back to claim victory in three stake races. Arroyo, Jr. has been aboard for all her starts and will fly in from New York to ride.
Dance Away Capote was a hard luck fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last year. She makes her second start of the year Saturday in the Bourbonette. Look for her to come from far off the pace for Bejarano and be closing late at the end of the mile race.
Brett’s Favrette is a Turfway Park favorite, compiling a perfect three-for-three record over the course. The undefeated daughter of Smart Strike is owned by Lloyd Madison Farms LLC and trained by Greg Foley. Jerry Bailey will likely sit off the early pace before making a move.
The field for the 23rd running of the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup from the rail out: Flying Glitter (Chavez); Amazing Buy (Arroyo, Jr.); Sweet Talker (Stevens); Shadow Dance (Rafael Mojica, Jr.); Gallant Secret (Troilo); Lady Dynasty (Albarado); Smart Voyager (Douglas); Touch of Splendor (Sarvis); Dance Away Capote (Bejarano); Easily (Bravo); and Brett’s Favrette (Bailey).
The Queen Stakes
The Queen Stakes brings together a competitive field of nine older fillies and mares. Jinny’s Gold, saddled Saturday by Greg Fox for his wife, Jamie, has run in eight consecutive stake races at seven different racetracks, and although none of those resulted in a win, she consistently hits the board and is right there in the final furlong of her six-furlong races. With leading Turfway Park rider Sarvis in the irons, expect her to be right there at the end.
Revolutionary Act will make her first start of the 2005 season Saturday in the Queen for trainer Patrick Huffman. She is another horse for the course, running a perfect three-for-three at Turfway. With jockey Billy Patin up, she figures to play prominently in the early pace.
The field for the 19th running of the $50,000 Queen from the rail out: Gone Exclusive (Mojica, Jr.); Ready and Tough (Mojica); Jinny’s Gold (Sarvis); Plumlake Lady (Zuniga); Regale (Estrella); Chunk of Love (Albarado); Revolutionary Act (Patin); Cats Copy (Douglas); Moonlit Romance (James Herrell).
The Hansel Stakes
The six-furlong Hansel Stakes, the sixth race and first of the five stakes on the day, welcomes another large and wide-open field of three year olds.
With Southside Johnny B, trainer Greg Foley and jockey Rafael Bejarano reprise the combination that helped put both atop the Turfway standings in the 2004 Winter/Spring Meet. Off since a sixth place finish in the one-mile WEBN Stakes on February 6, Southside Johnny B figures to benefit from the Hansel’s shorter distance.
Departing Now also enters off a lengthy layoff but may have the most impressive resume. Away from the races since August 20, 2004, he finished fifth in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes behind the highly regarded Afleet Alex and fourth in the Grade 3 Flash. Jockey Robby Albarado comes in from the Fair Grounds to ride for trainer Rebecca Maker. Maker also has entered Dogwood Stable’s Carnival Show, with Willie Martinez to ride, and the two will run as a betting entry.
The field for the 11th running of the $50,000 Hansel Stakes presented by Fifth Third Bank from the rail out: Eyeforglory (Perry Outzs); Summer Man (Bailey); Southside Johnny B (Bejarano); Departing Now (Albarado); Yankee Treaty (Mojica, Jr.); Falcon’s Peak (Troilo); Call the Lord (Rodney Prescott); Devilish Sefa (Mojica); and Carnival Show (Martinez).