Saturday, February 17, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 17, 2007 . . . Recognition earned his first career stakes win at Turfway Park Saturday, taking the $50,000 Dust Commander Stakes by a head under jockey Inosencio Diego.
After stalking the early pace set by Holy City, Recognition took a short lead entering the final turn of the one-mile Dust Commander and just held it safe against a very late, dynamic closing run by Esprit Du Roi. King of Speed's determined move into second was trumped by the same closing run and he finished a game third, 3/4 of a length back.
The win also was the first career stakes victory for trainer Jimmy Corrigan, who reopened a public stable about 10 years ago after working privately for Pin Oak Stud for seven years.
"He was a little closer than we thought he would be," said Corrigan. "He broke very sharp, and his instructions were to just let him get comfortable. When he turned for home he had plenty to go. He can go on grass, Poly, dirt, he can come from behind, he can be close—he can do it all."
Asked about the big move of Esprit Du Roi, a jubilant Corrigan grinned and said, "They could've gone around again and he wouldn't have gotten by him."
Buddy Got Even, the 2-1 favorite, stayed far back through most of the race before making up 10 lengths over six furlongs to finish fourth. Behind him came Twilight Road, Dynareign, Wayzata Bay, Holy City, and Victory Flyer. Skeleton Crew and Tolhwin Type scratched.
Off at 8-1, Recognition paid $18.80, $8.60, and $4.40. Final time for the Dust Commander was 1:38.68.
A 5-year-old California-bred gelding, Recognition is by Surachai out of So Sure. He now has 5 wins, 5 seconds, and 3 thirds in 17 starts for earnings of $161,420.
The Dust Commander Stakes is named for the winner of the 1970 Kentucky Derby. Dust Commander's jockey, Mike Manganello, was at Turfway Saturday to present the stakes trophy to Recognition's breeders and owners, Edmond and Sharon Hudon.
Ouzts OK after spill
In the 12th and last race on Saturday's card, jockey Perry Ouzts went down when his mount, Real Catty, clipped heels in the final turn and fell. Neither the horse nor the rider was injured in the fall.