Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., March 19, 2011 – Baryshnikov took his affinity for the Turfway Park track to the next level Saturday, winning the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes to get his first stakes trophy. Stablemate and even-money favorite Dean's Kitten was 1 3/4 lengths behind in second. Mint Chip was another half-length back in third, while Dynamite Bob stayed in for fourth, less than a length farther back and eight lengths clear of the next in line.
The win was Baryshnikov's fourth in his last five starts, all coming at Turfway. He also has a second and three thirds on Turfway's Polytrack surface.
"The horse has been doing well," said trainer Mike Maker. "He ran well last time (third in the one-mile Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway exactly a month ago) and this was a good distance for him. It looked like we inherited the lead. Tommy (Pompell) rode a very smart race. Nobody wanted the lead so he took it, and the horse was doing it easy."
Baryshnikov in post three and Dynamite Bob in post eight got away ahead of the rest and raced together into the first turn, with Baryshnikov marking the first quarter in :25.18. Dynamite Bob took a short lead into the backstretch and set the half-mile in :49:80, but Baryshnikov regained the lead down the backstretch and kept it from there, maintaining a measured pace to get the mile in 1:38.55 before finishing the 1 1/8-mile race in 1:51.92.
"He broke good and kind of had a hold of me," said Pompell. "I was hooked up there, and I didn't really want to be hooked up head-and-head with another horse, but we were going slow enough it seemed like it was all right."
Dean's Kitten, also trained by Maker, was making his second start at Turfway; he won the Lane's End Stakes (G2) last year in his first start here. He broke from post two and remained along the inside about in the middle of the eight-horse field through most of the race. He was more than five lengths off the lead when he angled out on the second turn but ran out of time to do more than narrow the gap.
"Dean's Kitten was a little compromised by the speed," said Maker. "He doesn't like being trapped inside and Victor (Lebron) got him out finally, but it was too late. His last race (a Gulfstream allowance) was the same thing. He got trapped inside the whole race. If you watch that replay it's mindboggling that he ran fifth and got beat a length. But that's racing."
Finishing fifth through eighth in the Tejano Run were Wealth to Me, Oldhamburg, Max Silverhammer, and Ordination.
Sixth choice at 8-1, Baryshnikov paid $19, $7.80 and $4.20.
A five-year-old horse by Empire Maker out of Ski Dancer, by Baldski, Baryshnikov is owned by Jeffery Columbro and Connie Apostelos and was bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm. He has six wins, five seconds, and five thirds in 32 career starts and earnings of $166,743.
Racing continues at Turfway Sunday at 1:10 p.m. This week the track also presents live racing on Thursday at 5:30 p.m., a day added to make up races lost to January cold.