Saturday, September 9, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 9, 2006 . . . Gouldings Green carried a fine spring and summer record right into the fall at Turfway Park Saturday, rolling from far back to win the $100,000 Grade III Turfway Park Fall Championship.
With J Town, Free Thinking, Alumni Hall, and It's No Joke bunched at the head of the 12-horse field, jockey Corey Lanerie gave Gouldings Green a ground-saving trip for the first half mile. Expecting the leaders to fade, Lanerie angled the five-year-old horse out at the three-eighths pole, but Gouldings Green needed every bit of the stretch to run down a determined It's No Joke for the half-length win. Alumni Hall finished third, three lengths farther back.
"They kind of out-broke him and he was able to get over to the rail and save some ground and just rated himself," said Lanerie. "He's really easy to ride. He can do anything. I've been behind [the field] going :22 with him trying to get to them, and sometimes I've been behind them going :24 and he just relaxes. Some days he's feeling really good and wants to show some speed. Other days it takes him a while to get going. But when it gets down to it and you call on him, he's there."
The win brought Gouldings Green's career record to 8 wins from 15 starts and pushed his earnings over the half-million mark to $501,122. With his win in the Seagram at Woodbine in July, Saturday's victory at Turfway gives him back-to-back Grade III wins.
The Fall Championship was Gouldings Green's first race over Polytrack but he visited the track a week ago to post a best-of-35 work.
"I thought it was very important for him to get his feet used to this surface," Reinstedler said. "It's different and he'd never run on it before. He's the type of horse that I wasn't really worried about it, but it's always important to get a breeze over it.
"I wasn't concerned about where he was [during the race]. He's a horse that gives you 120 percent every time he runs, so I wasn't concerned about it at all."
Favored at 1.10-1, Gouldings Green finished the mile course in 1:38.15. He is owned by Melnyk Racing Stables Inc.
After trailing the field for much of the race, turf star Honor in War made a huge run to finish fourth. Behind him were Summer Book, Going Wild, Free Thinking, Tap Dancing Mauk, Esprit Du Roi (CHI), Greater Good, Flirt With Fortune, and J Town. Cognac Kisses was an early scratch.
Reinstedler will consider the Hawthorne Gold Cup and the Kentucky Cup Classic, both Grade II, for Gouldings Green's next start, although he said the horse's performance in the Fall Championship has him leaning him toward the Classic.
Racing at Turfway resumes Sunday at 1:10 p.m.