Friday, November 28, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . November 28, 2008 . . . The $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes, the feature race on Turfway Park's opening day card this Sunday, drew a dozen fillies and mares, including recent Turfway stakes winner Vote Early and a handful that appear to relish all-weather tracks.
Most recently sixth in an overnight handicap on the dirt at Churchill Downs, Vote Early came from off the pace two starts back to win the Weekend Delight Stakes at Turfway in September. On Monday she posted a best-of-50 work over a sloppy track at Churchill. Trainer Steve Margolis has tapped Shaun Bridgmohan to ride in the Holiday Inaugural.
School Girl comes in off three consecutive wins over two different all-weather tracks, an optional $80,000 claimer at Keeneland and two Presque Isle allowances. She has five wins, a second, and two thirds from nine starts on all-weather surfaces; in 13 career starts she has no victories on any other surface.
Afleet Angel didn't fire on the turf at Woodbine last out, but in her previous five starts the 8-year-old mare racked up three wins, a second, and a third on the all-weather surface at Presque Isle Downs. Trained by Paula Bacon, with Willie Martinez back at Turfway to ride, Afleet Angel will make her first start at Turfway.
Mrs Petoski also fits the all-weather angle, with three wins and two seconds from five starts on the surface. She has been off since August but has posted three bullet works in a row at Turfway this month, including a best-of-36 four furlongs on Wednesday. Rex Stokes III will be aboard for trainer William Hall.
Also entered for the Holiday Inaugural are recent Keeneland allowance winner Downtown Drifter (jockey Aldo Canchano); Turfway stakes winners Miss A. Bomb (Orlando Mojica) and Pola's Place (Thomas Pompell); Simply Seattle, a winner at Churchill in the mud (John Byrne); Sea the Joy (Inosencio Diego); California shipper Unspoken Word (Miguel Mena); Conjuress (Edgar Paucar); and Tequilas Dayjur (Tracy Hebert). Aspiring and Proud Heiress filled the two also-eligible slots.
First post Sunday is 1:10pm. Admission and parking are free.
The Holiday Meet runs November 30 through December 31, with racing at 5:30pm on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday most weeks and at 1:10pm on Saturday and Sunday. Following the usual holiday tradition, the track will close Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then remain open for racing December 26-31, including Monday and Tuesday, with first post at 1:10pm daily.