Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 22, 2007 . . . With the fields set for the Lane's End Stakes and the four supporting stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, focus now turns to strategy.
Sedgefield will break from post 12 in the Lane's End, reminiscent of his last race when he finished second by half a length to Twilight Meteor in the Hallandale Beach Stakes after breaking from post 10.
"We got it [the outside post] twice in a row, but what are you going to do?" said trainer Darrin Miller. "It sort of mirrors the Hallandale, but I have a lot of confidence in the rider [Rafael Bejarano] and the horse. I think we'll be OK. He's shown he can sit behind horses before, so he doesn't have to have the lead. Last time we sort of pushed him to get a good position and he got a little aggressive—I wouldn't say rank, just a little aggressive. He's lightly raced, he's a young horse, and he's learning a lot with each race."
Sedgefield and Dominican, the latter Miller's entry for the Rushaway Stakes, arrived at Turfway Wednesday night and took a turn over the Polytrack Thursday morning. Both are owned by Silverton Hill.
Hard Spun, the 5-2 morning-line favorite for the Lane's End, galloped an easy mile on Thursday. Assistant trainer Cindy Jones commented on drawing post 10: " There are at least four true speed horses in the race, and I guess we're one of them. We won't try to be on the front. We know he will stalk, so hopefully we can pick up the pieces late. He's been on the lead in most of his races because he just hasn't had the competition to run with him."
Hard Spun won his first four starts by a combined 28 lengths, including a 6 1/2-length score in the Grade III LeComte Stakes, before finishing fourth last month in the Southwest Stakes, his only career loss.
Trainer Larry Jones arrives in Kentucky on Friday.
Sovereign Stable's Sports Town jogged a mile at Turfway Thursday as he nears his fifth career start and second stakes test. Sports Town, who drew post 3, is scheduled to school in the paddock during the first race at Turfway on Thursday, about 5:30 p.m.
"I'm real happy with our post position," said Tonja Terranova, wife and assistant to trainer John Terranova, who arrives at Turfway Friday. "From there, [jockey] Shaun [Bridgmohan] can put him where he needs to be. He's a real handy horse. We're looking for him to step up and run big."
Sports Town was most recently third in the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct. The Lane's End is his first race outside New York.
Trident Stable's For You Reppo left his Gulfstream stable early Thursday to board an 8 a.m. flight to Lexington and arrived at Turfway just after 1 p.m. Thursday with stablemate Silverinyourpocket, who will run in the Bourbonette.
Hansel and Queen stakes
In addition to the Rushaway Stakes and the Bourbonette Breeders' Cup (G3), which last year produced Kentucky Oaks winner Lemons Forever for trainer Dallas Stewart, the Lane's End undercard includes the $50,000 Hansel Stakes and the $50,000 Queen Stakes. Stewart has a starter in each of the smaller stakes.
Stewart will saddle Hot Storm in the Queen Stakes, a 6-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares. A true horse-for-the-course, she has three stakes wins at Turfway, the 2005 Weekend Delight and Holiday Inaugural and the 2006 Wishing Well, and a third behind the track-record time of Malibu Mint in the 2006 Weekend Delight. She comes into the Queen off a close third in the Spring Fever Stakes at Oaklawn on March 3.
Weather Warning is Stewart's entry for the Hansel, a 6-furlong sprint for 3-year-olds. He picked up two sprint wins at Fair Grounds before being eased in the trouble-filled Risen Star Stakes at the New Orleans track.
Stewart also has Floral Park in the Bourbonette.
Eric Reed has entered Frank St. Charles's Awesome Hero in the Hansel. "He's doing great," said Reed. "We went to the Hansel because I'd like to aim at the Derby Trial and I want to put some speed back in him." Awesome Hero most recently finished third in the Mardi Gras Stakes at Fair Grounds February 26.
Reed also has St. Charles's Pete the Poet, owned in partnership with Audrey Narducci, and Tainted Money, owned by Brian Rose and Gate Nine LLC, set for the Hansel.
In addition to Aspiring in the Bourbonette, George "Rusty" Arnold has New Dimension in the Queen and Mr. Goodkat in the Hansel. Of the latter Arnold said, "We're excited about running on Polytrack. We think he's a grass horse and possibly a sprinter. I'm not sure how well he'd do on a conventional dirt track, but he broke his maiden on grass and his other two-year-old start was going short on grass as well. His breezes have gone well [on Keeneland's Polytrack] and we thought we'd give him a shot in the Hansel."
The complete fields with riders and post positions for all five stakes races are available at www.turfway.com.
The Turfway gates open Saturday at 10 a.m. First post is 1:10 p.m. Some reserved seating remains. General admission at the door is $10. Parking is free; valet parking is available.
Bailey nominated for Emmy in first year on TV
ESPN Horse Racing analyst Jerry Bailey figures to be in a great mood when he arrives at Turfway Thursday for Saturday’s telecast of the Lane’s End and Rushaway stakes (5-6 p.m. ET, ESPN). Bailey learned Thursday that he is nominated for a Sports Emmy Award after just one year on television.
Bailey is one of five nominated as Outstanding Sports Personality – Sports Event Analyst. Other nominees are Cris Collinsworth on the NFL Network; Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR analyst for FOX; golf analyst Johnny Miller of NBC; and baseball’s Tim McCarver of FOX.
Bailey won the Lane’s End Stakes, then known as the Jim Beam Stakes, in 1991 aboard Hansel, who went on to win not only that year’s Preakness and Belmont stakes but also the Eclipse Award as 1991’s champion 3-year-old.
Also receiving a Sports Emmy nomination was NBC for coverage of the 2006 Preakness Stakes. The telecast included the on-air work of Turfway Park track announcer and oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. The telecast was one of five nominees in the category of Outstanding Live Sports Special.