Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 23, 2010 . . . After coming close in the Holiday Cheer last month, Flavor earned his first stakes win Saturday, taking Turfway Park's $50,000 Forego Stakes by three lengths over Grand Daddy. Godolphin Gray was third, another length and a half back.
"Tommy Drury's horses always run good so I was a little worried about [Grand Daddy], but we thought we had the best horse," said winning trainer Joe Woodard. "The last race [the Holiday Cheer, in which Flavor was fourth but beaten only half a length] was pretty competitive, and we thought we had the best horse that night, too, and just came up a little bit short. So this was a great deal for us. I'm happy for [winning jockey] Rex [Stokes III]. He's an awesome rider."
"I got on the horse the other morning and I liked the way he was training," said Stokes. "He jumped on the bridle early and I tried to save a little horse. Things worked out perfect."
Forestry Gold was out first in the Forego as expected and clocked the first quarter in :22.47 with Flavor a head behind to the inside. Flavor took the lead at will entering the turn, set the half-mile mark at :44.75, and drew off in the stretch to win in 1:17.24. Grand Daddy trailed the field of seven through half and closed without threatening the winner. Godolphin Gray came from off the pace, went very wide on the turn, and was up by a neck over Forestry Gold. Following were Holiday Cheer winner Golden Country, Matty's Trail, and Jerry Barry Jack.
Before Flavor's half-length loss in the Holiday Cheer he had reeled off four straight wins on two different surfaces at four different tracks and was beaten just a nose at a fifth. The bettors took note, and he returned $3.80 as the 4-5 favorite in the Forego.
A four-year-old gelding by Elusive Quality out of the Salt Lake mare Right Spice, Flavor has 6 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 14 starts and career earnings of $151,462. He was bred in Kentucky by Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider, who also campaigned him until Woodard claimed him in October for $30,000 for Billy, Donna, and Justin Hays.
The Forego was Woodard's second win on the day and his eighth of the meet, keeping him atop the trainer standings. Eric Reed and Mike Maker follow with five wins each. Stokes was aboard both of Woodard's winners Saturday to bring his own total to 14, tying him with apprentice Ben Creed behind John McKee and Tom Pompell, each with 17.
Racing continues Sunday with first post at 1:10pm ET.