Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 20, 2007 . . . This Saturday, just before New Year's Day gives them another birthday, two-year-old fillies will line up at Turfway Park for the $50,000 Gowell Stakes. The gate promises to be full, with 12 entered and two on the also-eligible list for the six-furlong sprint.
Absolutely Cindy has raced six times, all on Polytrack or turf, and missed the money just once, a fourth-place effort here in her second start. Her two wins have come in her most recent races, a maiden special over Keeneland's Polytrack in October and the Caressing Handicap on yielding turf at Churchill Downs last month. Both wins came courtesy of big closing runs over a mile or longer, a style that may not suit the Gowell, but three starts back she raced off the pace and then led into the stretch before settling for a close second, against boys in the bargain. Leading rider Brian Hernandez Jr. will ride the homebred filly for owner/trainer Keith Kinmon.
Kadira won the Coca-Cola Bassinet Stakes at River Downs before finishing third, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway. Both the Juvenile Fillies and her most recent effort, a seventh-place finish in the Grade III Pocahontas at Churchill Downs, covered a mile. The Gowell puts her back at her favorite distance; both of her wins came at six furlongs as she raced on or near the lead, and she's never afraid of a fight. Her regular rider, Larry Melancon, will be back aboard for trainer David Vance.
Birdgirl has something extra to prove in the Gowell. Trainer Steve Margolis claimed Birdgirl for Right Time Racing two starts back from the barn of Bill Mott. She comes into the Gowell off back-to-back wins in that $30,000 claiming race at Churchill and a first-level allowance at Turfway early this month. James Lopez will ride.
Indiana-bred Classic Ramona took the shortcut to stakes company, breaking her maiden at first asking in the filly division of the Indiana Stallion Stakes at Hoosier Park last month. She has been training very well at Turfway for trainer David Paulus, with two bullet works this month. Mathieu Adam has been named to ride.
Also scheduled to start are Jib (jockey Thomas Pompell); Kaat D (Bill Troilo); Little Somethin (Rodney Prescott); Night Break (Dylan Williams), who was all the speed in her 6 1/4 maiden score last out; Valentine Fever (Orlando Mojica); Margaret B (Victor Lebron); Surf n' Luck (Mary Doser), another claimer-made-good; and Love Buzz (Dean Sarvis). Check My Daddy and Mrs. Petoski are also eligible.
Racing begins Saturday and Sunday at 1:10 pm and continues daily at that time from Wednesday, December 26, through Tuesday, January 1. Turfway is closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Wednesday, January 2.