Friday, April 1, 2005 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . April 1, 2005 . . . Tempus Fugit goes for her third stakes win in a row this Saturday at Turfway Park in the 33rd running of the Fairway Fun Stakes. The 1 1/16-mile Fairway Fun, for fillies and mares four years old and up, is the last stakes race of the Winter/Spring Meet.
In back-to-back victories, both at Turfway in her only starts this year, Tempus Fugit led gate to wire in the Likely Exchange Stakes and the Wintergreen Stakes, winning by 3 1/4 and 9 1/4 lengths, respectively. She has six wins from 23 lifetime starts, including one at this distance, and is a perfect three-for-three at Turfway. Leading rider Dean Sarvis is back aboard for trainer Bernard Flint.
Looking for four wins in a row is Strike Me Lucky, making her first stakes start after a maiden win and two allowance victories. She is the big closer in the field, has two wins from four starts at the distance, and so far has been as comfortable on a muddy track as she is on a fast surface. As notable as her own performance is that of her trainer. Grant Hofmans has seven wins from 16 starters this meet and has been in the money 68.7 percent of the time. Strike Me Lucky will carry 114 pounds, seven fewer than highweight Tempus Fugit. Rafael Mojica Jr. has the mount.
Valliant Dancer, with Billy Troilo aboard, returns to more comfortable competition after finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream. In the money seven of 10 tries lifetime, Valliant Dancer has the most route experience, including wins at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Gulfstream and a second place finish at Churchill at this distance.
Likely to challenge for the early lead is Beau Watch, making her second start off a three-and-a-half month layoff. A month after winning the Pleasant Temper on the turf at Kentucky Downs last fall, she was well beaten in the Valley View Stakes (G3) on the turf at Keeneland, but she came back in early March to win an allowance race at Mountaineer by 7 1/2 lengths. The Valley View has been her only attempt past a mile. Beau Watch has one win and one second at Turfway. Orlando Mojica rides for trainer Eric Reed.
Ringo’s Cat, also a Flint trainee, could also go for the lead but is versatile enough to wait behind the frontrunners. She comes to the Fairway Fun looking for her fourth win in a row. The four year old has three wins from four starts this year, including a 23 1/4-length claiming romp and a 10-length allowance win just 10 days later, both at Turfway, but no starts past a mile. Juan Molina Jr. rides.
Completing the nine-horse field are Water Gap (jockey Shelley Moran), with two wins from 16 starts at the distance but no wins this year; Supah Sensation (Perry Ouzts), stepping up to stakes company off three wins in seven lifetime starts; My Ro (Justin Vitek), lightly raced at five with four wins from seven starts; and the veteran Kissinleaf (Casey Chavez), in the money 43 percent of 44 starts.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free. The Turfway Park Winter/Spring Meet closes Thursday, April 7, with Fan Appreciation Day.