Saturday, December 6, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 6, 2008 . . . The My Charmer Stakes didn't start the way jockey Miguel Mena envisioned, but plan B worked just fine, as Kiss With a Twist sailed through on the inside to win by 2 1/4 lengths. The win at Turfway Park Saturday earned the four-year-old filly her first stakes trophy.
Breaking from the three post, Kiss With a Twist stumbled leaving the gate and found herself running last instead of lying about fifth as Mena intended. While Callie's Joy set a moderate pace with Silver Moonshine just behind, Kiss With a Twist found her stride, moved up to ninth entering the backstretch, and steadily gained until she was seventh at the top of the turn. As the field turned for home, the door opened wide for Mena between Lauren's Tizzy on the rail and the rest of the field.
"I had so much horse I thought I might angle and go wide, but it just opened up for me, so we stayed in tight instead and I got through perfectly," said Mena.
Asked if he was concerned that the stumble had taken his filly out of the race, trainer Jose Fernandez said, "Not with this guy [Mena] aboard. She can run either way—it depends on how the race develops. One thing you can always count on with this filly: she always shows up."
Trailing the :23.92 and :47.92 early pace set by Callie’s Joy, Kiss With a Twist finished the 1 1/16-mile course in 1:47.52.
Cryptoquip, Lauren's Tizzy, and Absolutely Cindy closed to finish heads apart in second, third, and fourth, respectively. Completing the order of finish were Cruzada Americana (BRZ), Callie's Joy, Silver Moonshine, A to the Croft, Ballado's Thunder, Altered State, Marie Rossa, and Champagne Taste. Modjadji was an early scratch. On Fuego did not draw in and was scratched.
Kiss With a Twist's win in the $50,000 My Charmer pushed her earnings to $258,508. Raced by Alfred Nuckols Jr., she now has 5 wins, 4 seconds, and 4 thirds from 19 career starts. Off as the favorite at 2-1, she returned $6.80 for the win.
Fernandez broke Kiss With a Twist himself at Lexington's Calumet Farm, where she trains and will rest before her next start, probably at Fair Grounds.
Racing continues at Turfway Park Sunday, with first post at 1:10pm.