Saturday, January 19, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 19, 2008 . . . Valentine Fever took the short way home in the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, slipping through along the rail to win by 8 lengths. The effort gave the 3-year-old filly her first stakes win.
The win was the third on the card for trainer Greg Foley, who now stands one win away from 1,000 career victories.
Valentine Fever settled in fourth about two lengths back as Golden Roses, Conjuress, and Mrs Petoski raced ahead and wide through the first half-mile. Coming around the turn winning rider Tom Pompell sent Valentine Fever through on the rail, and after taking the lead in mid-stretch she sailed home unchallenged. Mrs Petoski stayed in for second. Love Buzz closed to finish 4 1/2 lengths farther back in third.
"[Foley] said that last time [a fourth-place finish in the Gowell Stakes] she might have gotten a little too far back, so I should try to lay third or fourth," said Pompell, the meet's leading rider. "Coming out of the 12 hole I was just trying to save some ground, and when the fence stayed open I went right up through there."
Pompell picked up the mount, his first for Foley, when his own scheduled mount was scratched and the winner's original rider, Orlando Mojica, took off his mounts.
Completing the order of finish were the 5-2 favorite Miss Red Delicious, Golden Roses, Birdgirl, Conjuress, Foley trainee Insure, Bernt to Run, Nevercomingback, and Clever Idea. Lavenham was the late scratch.
Foley said he will prepare Valentine Fever for the Valdale Stakes on February 23 with an eye toward the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks on the Lane's End Stakes undercard on March 22.
Valentine Fever now has three wins in six starts and earnings of $80,624 for owners Lloyd Madison Farms, IV LLC. Sent off as the race's fourth choice at 5-1, she paid $12.40, $7.20, and $5.60. Final time for the 6 1/2-furlong Cincinnati Trophy was 1:19.60.
Temperatures dropped as the day progressed and Saturday's final race, the 12th, was canceled. With frigid temperatures and single-digit windchill expected, Sunday's live race card also has been canceled.
The track will remain open for simulcasting on Sunday, and live racing is expected to resume Wednesday at 1:10pm.