Saturday, February 21, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 21, 2009 . . . Walloon stepped up to two turns and earned her first stakes trophy Saturday at Turfway Park, taking the $50,000 Valdale Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.
Karacuda jumped out quickly to set the pace, followed closely by the 3-2 favorite, Tacky Cat. Breaking from the inside post under jockey Hector Rosario Jr., Walloon went at the leaders briefly before settling back to mid-pack along the rail. Rosario moved her off the rail leaving the final turn and made a four-wide run past the tiring leaders. She’s Due closed from far back to take second. Three-quarters of a length farther back was Satans Quick Chick, who had trailed the field early.
"My instructions were to take advantage of a long hold, and get a good spot going into the first turn," said Rosario. "We were in the clear. Nobody was on the rail so nothing was hitting her down the whole backside, and she was full of run at the end. I had a lot of horse. Saving ground was a good thing."
After Karacuda's moderate opening fractions of :23.93 and :47.90, Walloon finished the Valdale, a mile for three-year-old fillies, in 1:40.83.
Completing the order of finish were Karacuda, Tacky Cat, Emma Darling, Super Poni, Bodazzle, Janou, and Spoilher, who was pulled up leaving the backstretch.
Tacky Cat, who won the Cincinnati Trophy by an easy six lengths, also was trying two turns for the first time. "I'm not sure the distance played a part," said her trainer, Wayne Mogge. "The jockey said she seemed confused by the two turns. When it was time to pick it up down the lane, she just went the same lick she usually does. We'll see how she comes out of it, regroup, and figure out the best route to take with her."
Trained by Katherine Ball for owner/breeder Donamire Farm, Walloon now has two wins and one second from six career starts and earnings of $50,125. She paid $26.60 to win as the bettors' 12-1 sixth choice.
Ball said they will consider bringing the Alphabet Soup filly back for the Bourbonette Oaks (G3), Turfway's prep race for the Kentucky Oaks (G1).
Turfway's live racing schedule continues Sunday at 1:10 p.m., and the track also will be open Monday for simulcasting. Gates open at 11:15 a.m. both days.