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Familiar faces return in Wintergreen Stakes

Thursday, March 4, 2010 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 4, 2010 . . . Ten older fillies and mares will line up for the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, most familiar faces that have confronted one another all winter and a couple of new faces in to challenge.

The class of the field for the one-mile race is graded stakes winner Danzon, third in Turfway's Likely Exchange Stakes last out and third in the My Charmer Stakes three starts back. Between those two she beat males in an allowance race at Turfway, including Forest Attack, who came back to win the Dust Commander Stakes. A dedicated closer breaking from post nine, Danzon will benefit from front-runners breaking from the middle of the gate. She gets the services of the meet’s third-leading rider, Rex Stokes III, for trainer Kellyn Gorder.

Irish-bred Rinterval was second in the Likely Exchange, pressing the early pace and then leading from the halfway mark until just a couple of strides before the wire. Racing on the all-weather surfaces at Turfway and Presque Isle and on the turf at Hawthorne, she has finished in the money in her last five starts and was placed first in one of them. She has been training very well at Keeneland for Eric Reed, and Ben Creed will be back aboard on Saturday.

Complicity has two wins and two seconds in four starts at Turfway, including a half-length score in her last race, a $50,000 optional claimer in which she was not entered for a tag. That start was her first since she was eased in the Riskaverse Stakes at Saratoga in September. Orlando Mojica is up for trainer Mike Maker.

Facing off for the second time are Miss Luann and Deputy Darling, both making their first stakes starts and both in off mile wins in their last starts. On January 23, with Tom Pompell aboard, Miss Luann defeated Deputy Darling. In mid-February, Deputy Darling won a Turfway allowance, also with Tom Pompell aboard. Pompell will be back aboard Deputy Darling in the Wintergreen for trainer Mike Maker, while John McKee takes over on Miss Luann for trainer Dale Romans. Both fillies have prospered on Turfway’s Polytrack, with Deputy Darling three-for-five and Miss Luann two-for-three in their young careers.

Also entered for the Wintergreen are newcomer Pursuit of Glory (IRE) (jockey Dean Mernagh); Elliday (Rick Knott); Irish Ridge (Fernando De La Cruz); Must Be Gold, who recently defeated Elliday but lost to Complicity (Perry Ouzts); and newcomer Elusive Surprise (Rodney Prescott)

The Wintergreen hunch bet would be a Rinterval-Pursuit of Glory exacta, since Saturday is also the 4th annual Irish Day at the Races festival at Turfway. Scheduled for noon to 6:30pm during the day’s races, the family-friendly event features Irish music, dance, food, drink, and handcrafts. Admission is free. Irish Day at the Races is presented by the Fenians of Northern Kentucky and sponsored by Killian's Irish Red, Remke Markets, and Molly Malone’s Irish Pub.

The Wintergreen is the ninth of 11 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10pm.

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