Thursday, November 30, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 30, 2006 . . . The first of Turfway's Holiday Meet stakes, the aptly named Holiday Inaugural, has drawn a full field of 12 fillies and mares this Saturday for the 21st edition of the six-furlong race.
Leading the field is the veteran Beautiful Bets, the 2006 poster girl for consistency. Running exclusively in stakes, she has finished in the money in 10 of 12 starts this year while racing at nine different tracks on three different surfaces at seven different distances. She has two wins, including the Turfway Breeders' Cup (G3) on Kentucky Cup Day, and while she threw in a sub-par performance in the Cardinal Handicap (G3) at Churchill Downs in early November, finishing 10th, she came right back a week later to finish a close second in the Pent Up Kiss Handicap, also at Churchill. Willie Martinez will again ride Beautiful Bets for trainer Glenn Wismer.
Tax Refund also usually picks up a check, finishing in the money 8 of 11 times this year with four wins, including an allowance win at Keeneland last out. In her previous race, the Weekend Delight Stakes at Turfway in September, she finished a strong fourth to Grade I winner Malibu Mint. Regular rider John McKee is back aboard for trainer Robert Holthus.
Trainer Dale Romans will send out his first starter of the meet in the Holiday Inaugural, the filly Golden Knolls. Three races back, Golden Knolls finished eighth of nine in a Saratoga allowance race. In her next outing, another allowance two weeks later at the Spa, she finished first. Golden Knolls has shown early speed but is more successful when she waits behind the pace, and jockey Bill Troilo will have her in the right place for that strategy.
Completing the field for the Holiday Inaugural are Midtown Miss (jockey Orlando Mojica); True Kiss (Emanuel Cosme); Dixie Dreamer (Miguel Mena); Bluesbdancing (Alonso Quinonez); Taylor Madison (Rex Stokes III); High Heritage (Rodney Prescott); Excellerant (Hector Rosario Jr.); Flying Glitter (Phil Teator); and She's That Cat (Brian Theriot).
First post on Saturday at Turfway is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free.