Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 28, 2010 . . . Trainer Mike Maker will saddle two sons of turf champion Kitten's Joy in Saturday's $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park, one already a stakes winner and the other making his first foray into stakes competition. Both were bred and are owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
A one-mile race for 3-year-olds, the WEBN Stakes is the second local prep for the Grade II Lane's End Stakes in March, itself a prep for the Kentucky Derby.
Patti's Kitten began his career with a runner-up finish over seven furlongs on the Polytrack at Keeneland, closing strongly from last to finish just half a length behind the winner. He broke his maiden at Turfway in his second and most recent start, a one-mile maiden special seven weeks ago. John McKee was aboard for the maiden win and is back in the irons for Maker on Saturday.
Kera's Kitten won the El Joven Stakes at Retama Park by five lengths in his second career start but finished seventh in his two subsequent starts. The second of those off-the-board finishes came in the Turfway Prevue on January 2. Normally racing on or near the lead, Kera's Kitten stumbled badly leaving the gate in the Prevue and never got into the race. Tom Pompell has the mount on Kera's Kitten, replacing McKee.
McKee and Pompell enter Friday's card tied atop the rider standings with 18 wins apiece.
Two others from the Turfway Prevue also return in the WEBN. Fish enters off two straight seconds including the Prevue. The WEBN will be his first try around two turns. Rex Stokes III has the call for trainer Phil Sims. Lucky Chuck was fourth in the Prevue after convincingly winning three of his previous four races, including the Indiana Futurity in the fall. Ben Creed is back aboard for trainer David Pate. Lucky Chuck also will try two turns for the first time.
Also entered are In the Paint, a month past his maiden win at Turfway (jockey Orlando Mojica); Rockin' Rockstar, a closer who broke his maiden at Turfway by seven lengths (Tony Farina); Pathoki, disqualified from a nose win at Churchill Downs in November (Rodney Prescott); Proud of Midway, a sprinter seeking his fourth straight win (Victor Carrero); Justamatteroftime (Alberto Pusac); Big Bruin, who broke his maiden at Turfway New Year's Day (Dean Mernagh); Slewzoom, third in a state-bred stake at Hawthorne last month (Tanner Riggs); and Mickejoe, who added blinkers for his 10th start as a 2-year-old and promptly broke his maiden at Mountaineer by more than 14 lengths (Sal Gonzalez Jr.). Outclass remains on the also-eligible list pending scratches Friday morning.
The WEBN Stakes is the 11th of 12 races on Saturday's program. Formerly the Presidents Stakes, the race has been sponsored since 2002 by WEBN-FM, Cincinnati’s leading rock radio station. First post Saturday is 1:10pm.