Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 22, 2007 . . . Kadira gave trainer David Vance an emphatic and effortless get well card Saturday at Turfway Park, dominating the $50,000 Gowell Stakes to win by 8 1/2 lengths.
Vance is recovering in Louisville from surgery for neck injuries sustained December 9 in a one-car accident on Interstate 71 near Verona, Kentucky.
Kadira broke first from the rail and led virtually every step of the Gowell, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies. Birdgirl, Night Break, Classic Ramona, and Surf n' Luck raced nearby down the backstretch, but Kadira easily took a one-length lead as she left the backstretch and ran for the fun of running thereafter, skipping over the light at the finish line as an apparent exclamation point. Former claimer Birdgirl was second, 3 lengths ahead of Absolutely Cindy.
Kadira's final time was 1:09.68, built on lively fractions of :21.95, :44.93, and 57.16.
"She has a lot of speed and she was down on the inside, so when she broke really well I felt like we would probably get it," said winning jockey Larry Melancon, who has been Kadira’s only rider. "They gave her a little break and she's a lot more relaxed now. She hadn't run in a little while so I went to riding her a little bit, and she just took off."
Kadira last ran on October 28, when she finished seventh in the Grade III Pocahontas at Churchill Downs. In her two previous starts she won the Coca-Cola Bassinet Stakes at River Downs and followed with a third-place finish in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies at Turfway. She now has three wins, one second, and one third in seven starts for career earnings of $136,525. A daughter of Kafwain, Kadira is owned by Carl Pollard.
The 6-5 favorite, Kadira paid $4.60, $3.20 and $2.40.
Completing the order of finish in the Gowell were Valentine Fever, Jib, Love Buzz, Kaat D, Night Break, Check My Daddy, Classic Ramona, and Surf n' Luck. Little Somethin was an early scratch, Margaret B a late scratch, and Mrs Petoski did not draw in from the also-eligible list.
Racing continues Sunday at Turfway at 1:10 pm. The track is closed Monday and Tuesday and then reopens Wednesday for seven straight days of daytime racing. First post from December 26 through New Year's Day is 1:10 pm.