Saturday, December 19, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . December 19, 2009 . . . Rapid Racer earned her first stakes win Saturday at Turfway Park, stalking a fast pace before getting clear by 1 3/4 lengths in the $50,000 Gowell Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for two-year-old fillies.
Henry's Posse, who also stalked the early pace, was second, 4 3/4 lengths ahead of Offlee Funny, who closed to take third.
Oceans of Honey, making her first start since July, laid down a :22.06 and :45.52 pace with Rapid Racer off her left flank and Henry's Posse off her right. Henry's Posse challenged Oceans of Honey approaching the turn, but it was jockey John McKee and Rapid Racer who took the lead to their inside at the top of the stretch. She finished the sprint in 1:10.97.
McKee credited trainer Paul McGee with the win, saying, "I had a lot of trainer under me. Paul really had her ready. I was just a passenger. She broke sharp, and the horse on the outside of me was going for the lead, so my best option was to sit right off of it, and when I asked her she really responded."
In her previous race, Rapid Racer finished ninth on the dirt at Churchill, but McGee said he drew a line through that effort. "I just threw that one out," he said. "She's always been good in the gate but that day, I don't know what happened. She reared in the gate and threw [jockey] Robby [Albarado]. She broke slow, and she came back with a cut on her ear. It just wasn't her day. So I haven't given up on her on dirt, but she ran so well on the Polytrack at Keeneland [winning a maiden special] that I thought we'd put her in this one."
Completing the order of finish were Ledge’s Monarchos, Zippy Larry, the 7-2 favorite Involved, For Royalty, Mission Vow, Maddie's Odyssey, Oceans of Honey, Pollard's Babe, and Opportunity's Here. Backtoblack and Nautical Nonsense were scratched.
Co-fifth choice with Offlee Funny at 6.90-1, Rapid Racer paid $15.80 for the win.
Rapid Racer has two wins and a second in four career starts for earnings of $64,621. A daughter of Forest Wildcat – Meadow Miss, by Meadowlake, she is a $160,000 graduate of the 2008 Keeneland September sale and is owned by Jay Em Ess Stable.
Racing continues Sunday at 1:10pm. With the exception of simulcast racing on Wednesday, Dec. 23, Turfway will be closed Dec. 21 – 25. The track will reopen for live racing on Dec. 26 and continue through Dec. 31, including Monday and Tuesday, with first post at 1:10pm daily. The winter/spring meet begins Jan. 1.