Thursday, January 22, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 22, 2009 . . . Officer Rocket will try for two stakes wins in a row when he lines up with seven rivals in the 26th running of the Forego Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. The $50,000 Forego is carded for horses four years old and up going 6 1/2 furlongs.
Officer Rocket won the Holiday Cheer Stakes at Turfway late last year while making his first start off a claim for new owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. He usually races comfortably behind the pace but showed his versatility that day by waiting far back for a hot early pace to tire, and he also has won after contesting the lead. The five-year-old horse has never won at the Forego distance but has been close, and he won his only other start on an all-weather surface, the six-furlong Holiday Cheer. Leading rider Victor Lebron picks up the mount for co-leading trainer Mike Maker.
Paul McGee trainee Success Success will make his first start at Turfway in the Forego after racing elsewhere in Kentucky and consistently at Fair Grounds. He has 14 in-the-money finishes in 18 starts and two starts back was third in the Bet On Sunshine Handicap at Churchill Downs. Rodney Prescott will ride.
Golden Country was part of the hot pace in the Holiday Cheer and had enough left to get third, just a length and a quarter behind the winner. He has two wins in five career starts and has never been out of the money. Inosencio Diego is back aboard for trainer Tom Bergin.
The Forego marks the 50th career start for eight-year-old Funky Pirate, and though stakes-placed he lately has been running in optional claiming races sans tag and the occasional claiming event. But in nine starts on Polytrack, eight of them at Turfway, he has four wins including his last race and has never missed the money. Also in his favor, he is trained by co-leading trainer Joe Woodard. Bill Troilo has the mount.
Also entered for the Forego are Wait On Tate (jockey Leandro Gonçalves); Mitigation, who won the Hansel Stakes in March and will make his third start of a layoff (Orlando Mojica); Fort Apache Star (Rafael Hernandez); and Bawdens (Azael De Leon).
The Forego is the 10th of 12 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m.