Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 26, 2009 . . . Parade Clown won the second local prep for the Lane's End Stakes and returns to Turfway Park Saturday to try the third, the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (listed).
Parade Clown was a bit green in the early going of the WEBN Stakes, the second prep, but veteran jockey Billy Troilo persuaded him to settle and wait, a valuable lesson for a three-year-old approaching springtime. Riding for trainer Katherine Ball, Troilo is back aboard for the Battaglia Memorial. Parade Clown has two wins and a second in three races at Turfway, with one of the wins at the Battaglia's 1 1/16-mile distance.
Proceed Bee also brings a stakes win to the Battaglia, a 3/4-length score at odds of 21-1in the Grand Canyon Handicap at Churchill last fall. That race was on the turf and at the Battaglia distance. After a seven-week layoff he finished a well beaten fifth in his most recent start, the one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes at Oaklawn. He has three wins in five lifetime starts, including a maiden win at first asking on the all-weather surface at Arlington. Rodney Prescott rides for trainer Terry Gestes.
The Battaglia Memorial will be Fitzaslew's fourth career start and his second off a five-month layoff. The colt broke his maiden at first asking in a sprint at Churchill Downs last June but next was sixth in the Cradle Stakes at 1 1/6 miles on the turf on Labor Day. Trainer Ken McPeek gave him the long break, and four weeks ago he was second by a head after setting the pace in a sprint allowance on the dirt at Gulfstream. The Battaglia Memorial will be his first race on an all-weather surface and a chance to try two turns again. Leandro Gonçalves rides.
Shanes Gold comes in off two consecutive wins at Turfway, a $30,000 maiden claiming race and an optional claimer where he was not entered for a tag. While the Battaglia is a step up in class and his first try at two turns, Shanes Gold is willing to go after horses and go through holes, and he posted three bullet works at Turfway this month. He also picks up the meet's leading rider, Victor Lebron. John Good trains.
Also entered are Dynamite Bob, a well beaten third in the WEBN (jockey Manfredi Guzman); Stratos (Orlando Mojica); Platinum Van, sixth in the WEBN (Otto Thorwarth); and Toccet Rocket, fifth in the WEBN (Tom Pompell).
The Battaglia Memorial is named for John Battaglia, former general manager at Turfway, father of track announcer and oddsmaker Mike Battaglia, and the man who developed the race that became the Lane's End Stakes. The Battaglia Memorial is the 11th of 12 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m.