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Half Heaven seeks fourth Turfway stakes

Friday, December 7, 2007 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 7, 2007 . . . Half Heaven owns three Turfway Park stakes trophies already and will try to repeat in the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes on Saturday to claim her fourth. A full field of 12 fillies and mares will line up for the My Charmer, run at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack.

A turf specialist with a definite affinity for Polytrack, Half Heaven has two wins, three seconds, and a third in eight starts this year, and you have to go back to the fall of 2006 to find her last poor finish. Half Heaven has been a model of consistency, with just six widely-spaced off-the-board finishes in her 28 lifetime starts. She was most recently fifth, beaten 4 1/4 lengths, in the Ticonderoga Handicap on soft turf at Belmont in October. Dean Sarvis rides for trainer Dale Romans.

April Frost, a Dynaformer filly and confirmed closer, broke her maiden at Turfway a year ago. She has since added two more wins in allowance races, one at Gulfstream and the other at Churchill Downs in her most recent start. In between she was second in a Keeneland allowance. All four of her career starts have come over turf or Polytrack, and all four are at the My Charmer distance or longer. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be up for trainer George “Rusty” Arnold II.

Marquee Delivery has never been out of the money in 10 career starts, including nine this year. She was third in the Arlington Oaks (G3) last summer and has been running in Keeneland and Churchill Downs allowances since then. She has never started at Turfway but owns a win on the Polytrack at Keeneland. Rodney Prescott has been named to ride for trainer Phil Sims.

Trained by D. M. “Speedy” Smithwick Jr., Our Dancing Babe is also a Turfway stakes winner, taking the Valdale early this year. She finished fourth in the Grade III Bourbonette on the Lane’s End undercard in the spring behind Sealy Hill and Panty Raid, the latter subsequently a Grade I winner twice over. She gets the services of Victor Lebron, the meet’s leading rider, for her first attempt at the My Charmer’s distance.

Completing the line up are Dashes N Dots (jockey James Lopez); Put Away the Halo (Larry Melancon); Generosity (Orlando Mojica); Cause She’s Crafty (Dylan Williams); Water Gap (Alvin Colon); Girls Pearls (Billy Troilo); Now More Than Ever (John McKee); and Le Chateau (Terry Thompson), who in the fall ran fifth behind Lear’s Princess and Rags to Riches in the Grade I Gazelle Stakes. Jill Indy Pulpit and Luna Dorada remain on the also-eligible list.

First post Saturday is 1:10 pm. The My Charmer is the 11th of 12 races on the day. Admission and parking are free.

After the races, Warrior Fighting Challenge presents a mixed martial arts competition at Turfway. Doors open at 6:30, with the first bell at 8 pm. Tickets to the fights are $15 and $20 at the door.

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