Saturday, January 5, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 5, 2008 . . . U. S. Cavalry has won by setting the pace, by stalking, and now, in the Turfway Prevue Stakes at Turfway Park on Saturday, by closing from mid-pack. On a day when early speed often held, the 3-year-old gelding began a steady charge leaving the backstretch and wore down the pacesetting Mr. Harry to win by 1 1/4 lengths. Cape Hatteras, making his second start in eight days, finished another 4 1/2 lengths back in third, well clear of Hot Chili in fourth.
"He’s very versatile," said winning trainer Mike Maker. "At Keeneland he rated kindly off the lead. Last time (at Churchill Downs) he broke sharp like he did today and just kept going. He was farther back today, but I wasn't really worried about the speed. They were going quick up front but that makes you feel comfortable and I knew (jockey Brian Hernandez Jr.) had a lot of horse."
Marking the quarters in :22.07, :44.40, and 1:10.21, Mr. Harry had a three-length lead over Mr. Flamboyant at the half as U. S. Cavalry advanced from sixth to fourth. Coming four wide, U. S. Cavalry sustained his move and drove past Mr. Harry in mid-stretch. He finished the 6 1/2-furlong sprint in 1:16.94 and paid $4.80, $3.00, and $2.60 as the 7-5 favorite.
The effort was the first stakes win for U. S. Cavalry, a son of Officer out of the Distorted Humor mare Humorous Wish. Maker said he plans to stick to Turfway's stakes schedule for 3-year-olds, making his next start the one-mile WEBN Stakes on February 2.
U. S. Cavalry was trained for his first two starts by Ian Wilkes. He was claimed for $50,000 by Maker for Ken and Sarah Ramsey out of the second start, his maiden win. U. S. Cavalry now has four wins in six career starts, and between Keeneland and Turfway is a perfect three-for-three on Polytrack. He has earned $90,524.
Finishing fifth through 10th in the $50,000 Turfway Prevue were Gregory's Trick, Star's Classic Cat, Allsarott, Mr. Flamboyant, Spice House, and Gold Appeal. Chow Wagon was a late scratch.
Live racing continues Sunday at 1:10 pm ET. The track is open only for simulcasting on Monday, closed altogether on Tuesday, and then starts the new week of live racing at 1:10 pm on Wednesday.