Thursday, March 29, 2007 12:00 AM
Dubai World Cup simulcast also Saturday
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 29, 2007 . . . Half Heaven will try to earn her third Turfway Park trophy this Saturday when she takes on 10 rivals in the $50,000 Fairway Fun Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race for older fillies and mares.
A five-year-old mare trained by Dale Romans, Half Heaven's most recent win came in the Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway earlier this month. In that race, jockey Miguel Mena kept her comfortable behind the leaders, perfectly positioned to take over as they tired. With Stormy Amber and Ella Belle likely to show speed in the Fairway Fun, Half Heaven could duplicate that strategy. In her last four starts, all in stakes and all on Polytrack, Half Heaven has three wins and a second.
In one of those stakes, the My Charmer at Turfway in December, My Chickadee finished second by just half a length despite a troubled trip. Last year she posted back-to-back fourth place finishes in Grade III stakes at Arlington Park and was third in her next two starts, allowances at Keeneland and Churchill Downs. She has been off since her runner-up finish in the My Charmer but has posted two bullet works at Keeneland this month, one of them the best of 30 over five furlongs. Trainer Harvey Vanier brings in Willie Martinez to ride.
Last Saturday trainer Mark Casse won the Bourbonette Breeders' Cup (G3) with Sealy Hill. This Saturday he brings last year's Bourbonette winner to the Fairway Fun. Top Notch Lady was off from September to January but finished first by 7 lengths in her second race since returning, the Ocala Training Center Florida Breeders Distaff last month. Julien Leparoux was aboard for that romp and has the mount in the Fairway Fun.
Completing the lineup for the Fairway Fun are Tazotee (jockey Fabio Arguello Jr.); Sassy Skipper (Inosencio Diego); four-time New York stakes winner No Reason (Bill Troilo); Legislady (Alonso Quinonez); Wrapped Up in You (Victor Lebron); Stormy Amber (Corey Lanerie); Country Fair (UAE); and Ella Belle (Phil Teator), most recently third behind Half Heaven in the Wintergreen.
The Fairway Fun is the last stakes race of Turfway's winter/spring meet, which closes with Fan Appreciation Night on Thursday, April 5. The Fairway Fun is the 11th of 12 on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m.
Dubai World Cup simulcast
Turfway's gates open at 10 a.m. Saturday to include simulcasting of the Dubai World Cup and four of its multi-million-dollar undercard stakes. Centerpiece of the day is the $6 million World Cup, which this year pits the undefeated Discreet Cat against U.S. Horse of the Year and Breeders' Cup Classic winner Invasor.