Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 15, 2007 . . . Bettors will have their choice of angles in the one-mile Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday.
Buddy Got Even returns off two straight closing wins at Turfway last month, including the Forego Stakes last out, but his two efforts beyond a sprint so far have left him out of the money. On the other hand, both of those defeats came on turf, and of eight career starts, all four of his wins have come on Polytrack. Rebecca Maker trains; Alonso Quinonez, aboard for Buddy Got Even's recent consecutive wins, is back to ride.
Trainer John Good tries the turf-to-Polytrack angle for Dynareign, a move that already has paid off for the 7-year-old Dynaformer horse. In eight tries on turf last year, all at a mile or longer, Dynareign had three seconds, including the Grade III John B. Connally Breeders' Cup Turf; he otherwise was out of the money. He made his first start on Polytrack in December at 1 1/8 miles and won with a sure off-the-pace effort. He since has posted four bullet works at Turfway. Julien Leparoux rides.
The Dust Commander has drawn its share of closers, and few close from farther back than Esprit Du Roi. The 8-year-old gelding has a second and a win in two recent starts at Turfway for owner/trainer Horacio Parisi. Victor Lebron has the mount.
The early speed in the race belongs to Holy City, Recognition, Skeleton Crew, and Tolhwin Type. All but the sprinter Skeleton Crew have won on the front at a mile or beyond.
The field for the Dust Commander: Holy City (jockey Dean Butler); Buddy Got Even (Quinonez); Dynareign (Leparoux); Skeleton Crew (Hector Rosario Jr.); Recognition (Inosencio Diego); Wayzata Bay (Orlando Mojica); King of Speed (Charles Woods Jr.); Victory Flyer (Bill Troilo); Esprit Du Roi (Lebron); Tolhwin Type (Mena); and Twilight Road (Phil Teator).
The $50,000 Dust Commander is the 11th of 12 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free.