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Holiday Inaugural draws talented full field

Thursday, November 29, 2007 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 29, 2007 . . . The Turfway Park entry box has been full since the holiday meet began Sunday, and the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes this Saturday maintains the momentum. Thirteen fillies and mares were entered for the six furlong sprint, with 12 to run.

Mary Delaney won two stakes at Turfway early this year and followed with a win in the Vinery Madison (G2) at Keeneland over the likes of Ginger Punch and Leah's Secret. She has fared less well since a runner-up Grade III finish at Woodbine but has trained well at Turfway recently, including a best-of-26 work over four furlongs a week ago. She likes to be close to the front, so breaking from post 12 in the Holiday Inaugural does her no favors. Much will depend on a good break and Brian Hernandez Jr.'s ability to get her into contention early. Eddie Kenneally trains.

Nobody loves Polytrack more than Miss A. Bomb, who has seven in-the-money finishes in eight tries over the surface. Two of her three Polytrack wins came at Turfway. She was seventh and last in her most recent try, a sprint on the dirt at Laurel, one of just two lifetime finishes off the board. She should be coming from off the pace in the Holiday Inaugural, and the field offers enough speed to make the strategy viable. Apprentice Dylan Williams, the fall meet's leading rider, is aboard for trainer Grant Hofmans.

Some of the speed will come from Fast Deal, a hard-working filly with 23 starts in two years and a win at Churchill Downs in her most recent. She has finished at least third in eight of her nine starts this year. Terry Thompson is up for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

Lady Belsara will supply more speed as she looks for the form that earned her the Chicago Handicap (G3) on Arlington’s Polytrack three starts back. She was off the board in her two most recent starts, both graded stakes. Lady Belsara breaks from the rail under jockey Billy Troilo. Matthew Kintz trains.

Trainer Christine Janks thinks enough of Modjadji to bring her south from Chicago for her first race at Turfway. Modjadji has been in the money in 17 of 25 career starts and has missed the board only four times, none recently. Rodney Prescott rides.

Also entered are Trout River Red (jockey Orlando Mojica), a multiple stakes winner in her second race off a layoff; Hidden Grove (GB) (Thomas Pompell); Milago (Victor Lebron); Ituna (Larry Melancon); Miss Wellspring (Fernando De La Cruz); Humorous Gal (John McKee); and Littlebitabling (Phil Teator). New Dimension (James Lopez) is the also-eligible.

Turfway’s qualifier for the 2008 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship is this Sunday. The top three finishers from the qualifier will head to the $1 million national contest in January.

First post on both Saturday and Sunday is 1:10 pm. Admission and parking are free.

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