Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 10, 2008 . . . After losing the Holiday Inaugural by a fast-closing nose last meet, Lady Belsara takes another shot at the Turfway Park stakes book Saturday in the $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes for older fillies and mares.
Often a frontrunner, Lady Belsara ran out of track in her closing bid for the Holiday Inaugural but found room that day to put away Mary Delaney, the accomplished Grade II winner who finished half a length behind her. Accomplished in her own right, Lady Belsara won the Grade III Chicago Handicap last June before taking nearly four months off. She returned to finish fifth in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G3) sprint at Keeneland and then finished eighth in the one-mile Chilukki on the dirt at Churchill. In nine starts on Polytrack she has found the money seven times, including four wins, and the Wishing Well puts her back at sprint distance. Bill Troilo rides for trainer Matthew Kintz.
Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker teamed up last Saturday to win the Turfway Prevue with a former claimer and will try the same path with Just for Keeps this weekend. Claimed for $50,000 three starts ago out of Steve Asmussen's barn, Just for Keeps was first three times and second three times in eight starts last year. She has never run at Turfway but won at seven furlongs over Keeneland's Polytrack in that last race for Asmussen. In her two most recent starts, both turf allowances at Churchill, she was a strong second after setting the pace going a mile. The Wishing Well will be her first stakes attempt.
Leading trainer David Pate will saddle Pola's Place, who comes in off a seven-length gate-to-wire allowance win at Turfway. Two starts back she finished second to First At Summer, who set the Turfway track record for 5 1/2 furlongs in that race. In four starts at Turfway Pola's Place has two wins and two seconds. Tom Pompell, the meet’s leading rider, will be aboard, replacing Dylan Williams.
The field for the Wishing Well also includes Byenne (jockey Danush Sukie), most recently a small-stakes winner at Hawthorne; Humorous Gal (John McKee); Ituna (James Lopez), with a recent best-of-22 work at Keeneland; V.I.P. Princess (Dean Sarvis); Turfway stakes winner Miss A. Bomb (Rex Stokes III); the record-setting First At Summer (Phil Teator); Initforthekandy (Victor Lebron); and veteran Daring Julie (Rodney Prescott), who has finished in the money 14 of 16 starts at Turfway, including eight wins.
Racing begins Saturday at 1:10 pm. Gates open at 11:15 am.