Tuesday, March 20, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 20, 2007 . . . The list of probables for the Lane's End Stakes (G2) has grown enough to overfill the race, set for this Saturday at Turfway Park.
New to the list are Highest Degree, trained by Ken McPeek; Joe Got Even, whose trainer, Phil Sims, has been debating between the Lane's End and the Rushaway; and Forefathers, trained by Nick Zito.
Joe Got Even won the WEBN Stakes at Turfway and then finished second in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes after running into traffic in the stretch. He has a win and two seconds from three starts this year. Highest Degree has one win in five starts and was most recently sixth behind Chelokee in a Gulfstream allowance. Forefathers was second in the Swale Stakes (G2) before finishing seventh in the Hutcheson (G2). The Lane's End would be his first effort around two turns.
With all horses nominated to the Lane's End also automatically nominated to the Rushaway, last minute switches between the two are always a possibility.
The maximum number of starters allowed in the Lane's End is 12. Should the race overfill, preference is given first to graded/group stakes winners in order (I-II-III), then to stakes winners, and then others based on highest career earnings.
Lane's End Stakes
Sports Town had his final work and his first over Polytrack Tuesday morning, going a best-of-eight :59 3/5 for the five-furlong effort under Phil Teator.
"He was just cruising," said assistant trainer Tonja Terranova. "Shaun [Bridgemohan, who will ride Sports Town in the race], talked to Phil and told him the horse would go :57 if he let him. Phil said the horse loved it."
Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm is looking for a big race from Hard Spun Saturday. As for strategy, Porter does not think the colt is a need-the-lead type. "In his first few races, there just wasn't much speed, and Hard Spun simply couldn't lay off those paces," he said. "[Jockey] Mario [Pino] would have had to put him in a stranglehold to do so. I imagine he will be very close, if not on the lead. If there is speed in the race, I think he will relax and stalk and be where we'd like him to be."
Trainer Paul McGee was more definite about entering Dubious Miss in the Rushaway after the colt breezed five furlongs in 1:01 flat at Churchill Downs Monday. Dubious Miss is undefeated in two career starts.
"The way he won [his first start] at Churchill made us think we may have a real good runner," said McGee. "We used his last race, [a one-mile allowance at Turfway], as a prep for the Rushaway.
"He's on target for this race. The workout went really well. He's pretty much a push-button horse. He'll let you do whatever you want with him."
Bourbonette Breeders' Cup (G3)
In addition to For You Reppo in the Lane's End and Trust Your Luck in the Rushaway, Helen Pitts will start Silverinyourpocket in the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders' Cup. The filly is undefeated in two starts at Gulfstream Park, her last a 6 1/4-length allowance score. The Bourbonette would be her first two-turn race.
"Silverinyourpocket is doing super," said Pitts. "She had a nice work Sunday [5f in 1:01.20, third-best of 13] with Rafael Bejarano up. It's always a question when you stretch them out, but she has the mind to do it. She just waits and does everything you ask her."
Silverinyourpocket and For You Reppo are scheduled to arrive from Florida on Thursday. Trust Your Luck has been training at Churchill's Trackside training center since finishing third in a Turfway allowance March 3.
Sealy Hill will try the Bourbonette for trainer Mark Casse. "In her last race, [runner-up in a Gulfstream allowance], there was no pace and we found ourselves on the lead. Everything that could've gone wrong, did. We drew the inside and she likes to sit off the pace and come around horses.
"We chose this spot because of the Polytrack. She ran very well at Woodbine—looked like a superstar. She's a Canadian-bred and right now she'd be first or second choice for the Canadian Oaks."
George "Rusty" Arnold II has the Bourbonette in his sights for Aspiring. The filly broke her maiden at Turfway as a two-year-old and most recently finished second in the Dearly Precious Stakes at Aqueduct.
"We can't wait to stretch out Aspiring," said Arnold. "We think she has a tremendous future. We know her two-year-old numbers weren't super impressive, but we know her pedigree [Seeking the Gold out of a Deputy Minister mare]. We shipped her up for the stakes at Aqueduct and knew going in that the race was too short. But she finished very well and has worked very solidly twice since then. We're very excited about her and think she will be a very nice midsummer filly."
The Bourbonette also has attracted Floral Park, with three wins from five career starts including a win last out in a two-other-than allowance over six furlongs at Oaklawn Park March 2.
"This will be her first time stretching out around two turns, so it will be a challenge," said trainer Dallas Stewart. "We'll just have to see how she does."
Stewart also has the Turfway Park horse-for-course Hot Storm in the Queen Stakes and Weather Warning in the Hansel Stakes.
Also on the probable list for the Bourbonette are Our Dancing Babe, with three consecutive Turfway wins including the Valdale Stakes; Tessa Blue, who broke her maiden by 8 lengths at Gulfstream; Bavarian Belle, second in the Valdale; Dezba, who broke her maiden around two turns at Turfway; V.I.P. Princess, third in the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes; Tale of the Queen; and Olivine, a winner by five lengths of the Busher Stakes at Aqueduct.
Post positions for the Lane's End Stakes, the four undercard stakes, and the rest of the 12-race card will be drawn Wednesday.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Gates open at 10 a.m. The Rushaway and the Lane's End, off at 5:16 p.m. and 5:46 p.m., respectively, will be nationally televised by ESPN.