Friday, February 19, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . February 19, 2010 . . . The top three finishers in the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes last month return for the $50,000 Valdale Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday. The two races, both for three-year-old fillies, are local preps for the Grade III Bourbonette Oaks on the Lane's End undercard March 27. The one-mile Valdale overfilled, drawing 14 entries.
Cactus Cadillac won the Cincinnati Trophy sprint and goes for her third straight win in the Valdale, with Ben Creed back aboard. Trainer David Pate says she prefers a mile or longer, and indeed she already owns two wins at the Valdale's mile distance, one on Polytrack and one on the Churchill turf. She has never been out of the money in four starts on all-weather surfaces.
Henry's Posse set a quick pace in the Cincinnati Trophy and gave in grudgingly in deep stretch, settling for second by less than two lengths. She has been second in all three starts on all-weather surfaces; her lone win in six starts was an impressive 7 1/2-length score on the dirt at Pimlico in her debut. Given her preference for the lead, first-time jockey Dean Mernagh will have to leave enough in the tank for her first try at two turns. Mark Hubley trains.
Helen Belen finished third in the Cincinnati Trophy after a bobbled start, her first loss in three career starts, all at Turfway. New jockey Sal Gonzalez Jr. will take her around two turns for the first time for trainer William Denzik Jr.
One challenge to the Cincinnati Trophy trifecta is likely to come from Turfway newcomer Sister Resistor. Trained by Ken McPeek, Sister Resistor has two off-the-pace wins at a mile on dirt, one at Gulfstream and the other at Ellis in her debut, the latter taken off the turf. She has raced once on an all-weather track, closing to finish third in the Top Flight Stakes at Arlington last summer behind She Be Wild, who later won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) and was named champion two-year-old filly. Sister Resistor was eighth last out but in over her head in the Grade II Forward Gal. Fabio Arguello Jr. returns to Turfway for the mount.
Others entered for the Valdale are For Royalty (jockey Orlando Mojica); Hot Citizen (Rex Stokes III); All County (Nelson Arroyo); Lisa's Kitten, a Ramsey route veteran making her first start since November (Tom Pompell); Mesa Rose (Fernando De La Cruz); Offlee Funny (Tony Farina); Sweden, jumping up from a mile maiden special win at Turfway (Rodney Prescott); and stakes-placed turf route runner Seasoned, never out of the money in five career starts but new to all-weather tracks (meet leader John McKee). Southern Sonata remains on the also-eligible list and may draw in if a late scratch occurs. Gerwinni scratched off the also-eligible list.