Thursday, December 14, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 14, 2006 . . . The $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park this Saturday has drawn a full field of solid runners, including Silverton Hill Farm's Gin and Sin, Greg Besinger's Summer Book, and Stonerside Stable's Mesawmi.
Turf specialist Gin and Sin enters the Prairie Bayou looking for his third straight win. New to Turfway, he won at 7 furlongs on Keeneland's Polytrack in October and followed with a win at 1 1/8 miles on the Churchill Downs turf in November. Trainer Darrin Miller has the six-year-old ready to go off a bullet work on Monday over Silverton Hill Farm's own Polytrack training surface. Dean Butler will ride.
Summer Book has just one win from nine starts this year but has been facing graded stakes company almost all year. He finished third, beaten just half a length, in the Carl G. Rose Classic at Calder last month, and in October was fourth in the Grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup, both at the Prairie Bayou's 1 1/8 mile distance. Brice Blanc will ride for trainer Niall O'Callaghan.
A four-year-old turf runner trained by Patrick Byrne, Mesawmi has three wins from seven starts this year and missed the board just once, a 10th place finish at Churchill Downs in May that earned him a summer vacation. He won his first race back, 1 1/16 miles on the turf at Ellis Park, and has been consistent ever since. Leading rider Miguel Mena will introduce Mesawmi to Turfway.
Comprising the rest of the Prairie Bayou's competitive field are Special Event (jockey Joe Johnson); Starspangled Gator (Rodney Prescott); Chief Export (Phil Teator); Sidcup (Alonso Quinonez); Wayzata Bay (Orlando Mojica); Air Academy (Victor Lebron); Away to Boston (Willie Martinez); Victory Flyer (Bill Troilo); and Sweet Grass Creek (Brandon Minnock).
Saturday's edition is the 12th running of the Prairie Bayou Stakes, named for the winner of the 1993 Jim Beam Stakes (now Lane's End Stakes) and that year's champion three-year-old.
The Prairie Bayou is the 11th of 12 races on Turfway's Saturday card. First post is 1:10 p.m. ET.