Saturday, December 13, 2008 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 13, 2008 . . . After placing in a couple of graded stakes earlier this year, 7-year-old Canela scored his first stakes victory with a 3/4-length win in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park.
As expected, Omaggio burst from post 10 and had the lead within the first half-furlong of the 1 1/8-mile Prairie Bayou. Timeless Fashion broke from the rail and dueled for the lead rounding the first turn, with Canela sitting comfortably in fourth to the outside, one of two strategies given jockey Victor Lebron by Canela's trainer, Mike Maker.
"He's a funny horse," said Maker. "He likes to be on the outside, either on the lead or by himself, and I told Victor, 'If you can't make the lead, try to get the outside.' He's a feast or famine kind of horse, but it worked out today."
Canela stayed fourth or fifth as Omaggio and Timeless Fashion drew off and left the rest of the 10-horse field behind, at one point down the backstretch racing about six lengths ahead. Omaggio set moderate fractions, :47.32 for the half and 1:11.65 for three-quarters, and still held a short lead as the field turned for home. Canela moved up to third on the outside, put a head in front with less than half a furlong to go, and got up to win by three-quarters of a length. Timeless Fashion finally got the best of Omaggio, briefly leading before being passed by Canela and settling for second. The gutsy Omaggio held third, a length back. Final time was 1:52.12.
A ridgling raced by Scarlet Stable, Canela now has 16 wins, 7 seconds, and 4 thirds from 43 career starts and earnings of $386,191. He was third earlier this year in both the Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (G3) at Arlington and the Kentucky Cup Classic (G2) at Turfway.
Canela was co-third choice at 5-1 and returned $12, $6.20, and $4.60 for his work.
Completing the order of finish were Barastraight, the 7-5 favorite Extreme Supreme, For You Reppo, Terrific Storm, Itsallboutthechase, Gin and Sin, and Matty's Trail.
Racing continues Sunday at Turfway with first post at 1:10pm.
Added to the Sunday schedule is racing simulcast from New Mexico's Sunland Park, where the undefeated Peppers Pride will try for her 19th straight win. The 5-year-old New Mexico-bred mare set the modern North American record for consecutive wins with her 17th victory, surpassing the mark held by Citation, winner of the 1948 Triple Crown; Cigar, twice Horse of the Year; Grade I winner Mister Frisky; and the sprinter Hallowed Dreams. Peppers Pride has spent her entire career in New Mexico and is the 3-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's $125,000 New Mexico State Racing Commission Handicap. Post time for the handicap is 6:00pm ET.