Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 28, 2008 . . . Big Glen will try to win his second prep for the Lane's End Stakes when he lines up with 10 rivals in the 26th running of the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park this Saturday.
Big Glen swept past the field coming to the stretch of the WEBN Stakes a month ago for his first stakes win. The John Battaglia Memorial takes him again to 1 1/16 miles, a distance at which he has run twice but not won. Both of those losses came in his 2-year-old season, and he has shown considerable grit since then. Two races ago he was shuffled back from second to eighth before the mile was half gone, but he came on again to win by a neck. He is a perfect three-for-three on Turfway’s Polytrack for trainer Frank Brothers. James Lopez will be back aboard.
Briarwood Circle has been off since November, when he missed winning Woodbine’s Display Stakes at the Battaglia distance by a scant nose. In five starts he has two wins, two seconds, and an eighth-place finish in the Grade I Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Trainer Mark Casse calls on regular rider Patrick Husbands. Briarwood Circle is owned by William S. Farish Jr. of Lane's End Farm, sponsor of the Lane's End Stakes.
Absolutely Cindy takes on the boys in the Battaglia. In her last race, the Silverbulletday (G3) at Fair Grounds, she was sixth behind undefeated champion Indian Blessing. Two races back she just missed in the Tropical Park Oaks. Orlando Mojica is up for trainer/owner Keith Kinmon.
Also back for the Battaglia are the second- and third-place WEBN finishers. Runner-up Your Rounds has been off the board only once in six tries, finishing ninth on the boggy turf in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. Victor Lebron rides for trainer Mark Hubley. Mr. Harry set the pace in the WEBN before settling for show. Bill Troilo rides; Larry Demeritte trains.
Also entered for the Battaglia Memorial are Beneficiary (jockey Rex Stokes III); Instill (John McKee); Dixie Decision (Dean Sarvis); Halo’s King (Jesus Castanon); Cherokee Triangle, in off a layoff with Miguel Mena returning to Turfway for the mount; and Best Buddy (Brian Hernandez Jr.), an 11-length maiden winner at Hawthorne in his last start.
Turfway also celebrates Irish Day at the Races on Saturday, noon to 7pm. The day features Irish musicians and dancers, Irish food and George Killian's Irish Red, and Irish gifts and collectibles. The event is presented by the Fenians of Northern Kentucky and sponsored by Coors and Molly Malone's Irish Pub of Covington.
Admission to the races and to Irish Day festivities is free. First post is 1:10pm.