Friday, January 14, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Jan. 14, 2011 – Turfway Park has been much friendlier to speed horses so far in January than it was in December, and several of the 10 older fillies and mares entered in Saturday's $50,000 Wishing Well Stakes fit the description.
War Kill has the credentials to win the six-furlong Wishing Well Stakes if she's ready. She has done her best running on or near the lead, is three-for-four on Polytrack, and is a graded stakes winner. But the game graded win, the Beaumont Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, came 21 months ago, she enters the Wishing Well off an 11-week layoff, and she has been able to start only 10 times in three years. On the other hand, she was beaten only three lengths at Keeneland in her last race despite stumbling at the start, won two starts back at Turfway, and has been training well on Keeneland's Polytrack. Perry Ouzts was aboard for the win at Turfway and will be back up Saturday for Ken McPeek.
Sweet Gladys is fresh off a front-running 10 3/4-length romp at Turfway December 26, an optional allowance sprint. She has four wins and two thirds in seven starts at Turfway but finished fifth in her only stakes attempt, beaten 7 1/4 lengths in the Queen Stakes at Turfway last spring. Greta Kuntzweiler is back aboard for trainer Bill Denzik Jr.
Coastal Solace owns the biggest bankroll, $453,842 in 24 starts, most in allowance and small stakes races. She has eight wins, missed the money only four times, and has one all-weather start, a runner-up finish last out in the 1 1/16-mile My Charmer Stakes at Turfway in which she was beaten less than two lengths after setting the pace through half. She also can come from off the pace, which could work to her advantage if speed leaves that door open. Stevica Djuric is named to ride for Gennadi Dorochenko.
The off-the-pace advantage also could go to Jonmil's Edge, who is two-for-five on all-weather tracks and comes in off an optional allowance win at Turfway a month ago. She has one previous stakes attempt, a third-place finish in the 2009 Presque Isle Debutante Stakes. Trainer Mike Maker returns her to sprint distance for the first time since a win at Ellis Park last summer. Jozbin Santana rides.
Also entered for the Wishing Well are Broken Wedding (jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr.); Minewander, looking for a return to form (James Lopez); Snowscape (Juan Vargas); Broadway Hennessey (Rodney Prescott); Derby Day Storm (Alberto Pusac); and Hungry Tigress (John McKee).
The Wishing Well is the ninth of 10 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m.