Saturday, March 26, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Mar. 26, 2011 – Sweet Gladys went off a 20-1 longshot in the $50,000 Queen Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday but stayed true to her favorite track, winning the six-furlong race for older fillies and mares by 2 1/2 lengths over Hyperlink. Happy Week was a head back in third. Final time was 1:10.84.
The win was the fifth in 10 races at Turfway for Sweet Gladys and the six-year-old mare's first stakes victory. James Lopez was the winning rider. By Awesome Again, Sweet Gladys is owned by Old Henry Thoroughbreds and trained by Bill Denzik Jr.
Sweet Gladys sat just off the pace set by 6-5 favorite Midst, who got the first quarter in :22.71 and the half in :45.80. From that point to the last half-furlong, Midst was under direct pressure from Sweet Gladys, who edged past inside the final sixteenth and then was clear. Hyperlink and Happy Week both also got by Midst, who finished fourth.
"In her previous races, even when she was running at a cheaper level, she was really game, and she's always been like that," said Denzik.
Behind Midst came Snowscape, who jumped out fast before gradually falling back, and Winsockie and Sweet Temptress, neither of whom were factors.
Sweet Gladys paid $42.20, $10.40 and $4.80. She has six wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 16 starts for earnings of $78,769.
Ghost is Clear lived up to his status as the 2-1 favorite in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes, six-furlongs for three-year-olds, advancing steadily from far back to get up in the last strides and defeat Philippe by a neck. The two were well clear of Getaway Guy, who set the opening quarter in :22.46 and the half in :45.65 while under pressure from Big Albert before ending up 4 1/2 lengths back in third. Final time for the Hansel was 1:10.78.
"I was happy to see those two horses going hard at it on the front end. Victor (Lebron) gave him a great ride," said winning trainer Mike Maker.
"Mike told me, 'Wherever he breaks, just sit and relax with him, and then swing him out down the lane,' said Lebron. "I did exactly what he told me. The horse showed up."
Fourth and following were Banjammer, Devil Train, Gonna Tell Mama, Chasing Moonlight, Big Albert, and Murjan. Birdie Beats Par, Cuvee's Image, and Inhisglory scratched.
A son of Ghostzapper, Ghost is Clear paid $6.60, $3.40 and $2.80.
Owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables, Ghost is Clear has two wins and a second from six starts and earnings of $64,891. The Hansel is his first stakes win.