Thursday, March 10, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., March 10, 2011 – The top three finishers in the Likely Exchange Stakes renew their Turfway Park rivalry this Saturday in the 30th renewal of the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes, a mile race for older fillies and mares.
La Gran Bailadora came from way back to take the Likely Exchange, also contested at a mile, by nearly three lengths. The filly is a perfect three-for-three at Turfway and comes in to the Wintergreen looking for her fourth straight win at the track, but the Polytrack surface has been kinder to frontrunners in recent days. Jozbin Santana returns to Turfway to ride for trainer Mike Maker.
Likely Exchange runner-up Hungry Tigress also came from far back and finished better than three lengths ahead of third. The six-year-old mare was off for more than a year and returned in November to finish off the board in two races before regaining her form to win the six-furlong Wishing Well Stakes in January. She has raced a mile four times and finished second each time. Trainer Bill Connelly named John McKee to ride.
Jonmil's Edge was third in the Likely Exchange after racing just off the pace. She also owns a game win at Turfway, an optional allowance at the distance three starts back. She breezed a best-of-12 four furlongs in :48 flat at Turfway last Saturday. Maker also trains Jonmil's Edge and brings Victor Lebron back to ride.
Turf specialist War Tigress was off more than two months before returning to finish second in the Jersey Lily Stakes at Sam Houston Park a month ago. She likes to be near the lead and may gain the edge on the second start back. Trainer Jeff Thornbury gave her a good workout last Thursday, when she breezed six furlongs on Keeneland's Polytrack in 1:14.60. Perry Ouzts has the mount in the Wintergreen.
Leading rider Ben Creed has the mount on Spring Party, entered after finishing seventh in the Grade 3 Endeavor Stakes at Tampa Bay last month. Before that race she was respectively first and second in good allowance company at Churchill Downs and Tampa Bay, both on the turf. She is two-for-four on all-weather surfaces but the Wintergreen is her first start at Turfway. Eric Reed trains.
Also entered for the Wintergreen are speedster Queen of Arts (jockey Azael De Leon); Midway Holiday (Orlando Mojica); West Court (James Lopez); Miss Luann (Thomas Pompell); Sweet Temptress (Rodney Prescott); and Hot Hot Mama (Irwin Rosendo).
Saturday also is Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes cap giveaway day. The track will give away 1,000 free ballcaps to promote the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes two weeks later, March 26. Vouchers for the caps will be handed out at Gates A, B, and D beginning at 4:30 p.m. Vouchers may be redeemed for the caps after Saturday's second race. First post is 5:30 p.m.