Thursday, September 18, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 18, 2008 . . . Grade I winner Golden Doc A heads a strong field in the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. Eleven entered the six-furlong sprint for fillies and mares three years old and upward.
Golden Doc A won the Las Virgenes (G1) on the all-weather surface at Santa Anita in February and followed with runner-up finishes in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1) and the Beaumont (G2) at Keeneland. She next was fourth in two Grade I races behind some of the year's strongest fillies, including Proud Spell and Pure Clan in the Kentucky Oaks and Zaftig and Indian Blessing in the Acorn. After a three-month break she returned to finish fourth in the Torrey Pines on the all-weather surface at Del Mar.
The Weekend Delight is Golden Doc A's second start off that layoff and puts her back on an all-weather surface. While she has not previously raced at Turfway, in 11 starts on all-weather surfaces she has earned three wins, three seconds, and 86 percent of her $502,717 bankroll, and she is two for three at the distance. Jockey Bill Troilo rides for trainer Barry Abrams.
A confirmed frontrunner, Rated Feisty is less experienced than Golden Doc A but has impressed in her four career races. Had she not been disqualified to third in her most recent start, the Dixie Belle at Oaklawn Park, she would be undefeated. As a two-year-old, Rated Feisty broke her maiden by 4 3/4 lengths on Keeneland's Polytrack and then jumped to graded competition in the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (G3) at Churchill Downs, winning by a nearly equal margin on a sealed sloppy track. She followed with a 6 1/2 length win in the Grade III Debutante, also at Churchill, and then took a break. Her next start, the Dixie Belle, came six months later in January, and the Weekend Delight is her first start since then. Shaun Bridgmohan comes to Turfway to ride for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Another frontrunner, Pola's Place wired the Queen Stakes at Turfway at this distance last spring. She most recently raced August 2, when she finished second off a two-month break in the West Virginia Secretary of State sprint. Current hot rider Brian Hernandez Jr. rides for trainer David Pate.
Corey Lanerie is in to ride the speedy Victorianna, who was second in the Queen but won both starts since then, including the Fit for a Queen Stakes at Arlington. She has never missed the money on Polytrack, including four wins, and has been out of the money only twice lifetime. The Weekend Delight is her first start since May but she has been training extremely well at Churchill. Eddie Kenneally trains.
Also entered are Vote Early (jockey Otto Thorwarth); Proud Heiress (John McKee); Clay's Angel (Tracy Hebert); Valentine Fever (Miguel Mena); My Favorite Tune (Perry Ouzts); Natalicat (Diego Rodriguez); and Conjuress (Luis Martinez).
Saturday marks the fourth day of the six-day Kentucky Downs meet, and Turfway will again combine its 10 live races with seven simulcast from the European-style turf track in Franklin. The Weekend Delight will be the 14th of the day's 17 races. First post is 1:10 p.m. Admission and parking are free.