Saturday, September 15, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 15, 2007 . . . With Teuflesberg again a late scratch, Off Duty took the favorite’s role in the $75,000 Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday and won by a length over Reigning Court.
Reigning Court broke first but Off Duty had the lead within a few strides, with Cognac Kisses just behind and to his inside. Winning rider Larry Melancon asked Off Duty to move entering the turn of the 6 1/2 furlong Marfa and easily secured the win. Reigning Court came from mid-pack to take second by a head over Cowboy Hardware.
"I knew my horse was the speed in the race," said Melancon. "The other horse [Cognac Kisses] was there but I knew I had plenty of horse."
After setting fractions of :23.08, :46.11, and 1:10.52 over the Polytrack surface, Off Duty finished the race in 1:16.82. He was sent off at 6-5 and paid $4.40, $2.80, and $2.40.
Completing the order of finish were Bully for You, Buddy Got Even, Cat and a Half, and Cognac Kisses.
Off Duty now has seven wins and two thirds from 14 starts for earnings of $235,419. Trained by Lynn Whiting, the four-year-old gelding is owned by John Pucek, Brett Setzer, and Robert Edwards.
Melancon has won both of Turfway's Fall Meet stakes run thus far, winning the Fall Championship (G3) with Istan last Saturday. Teuflesberg also was scratched from that race.
Racing continues Sunday at 1:10 pm.