Thursday, December 1, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 1, 2011 – The Holiday Meet stakes schedule at Turfway Park kicks off Saturday with an overflow crowd for the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural, six furlongs for fillies and mares three years old and up.
Dr. Diamonds Prize won the Gowell Stakes here last year and in her most recent start was disqualified to fourth after finishing third, beaten just half a length, in the Raven Run at Keeneland at 76-1. She set the pace in that race at seven furlongs and the cut back to six in the Holiday Inaugural bodes well. The 3-year-old filly has twice tasted disqualification, the other from a win at Presque Isle, but if new rider John McKee can keep her straight she has a chance to earn her second Turfway trophy. Mark Hubley trains.
Five Star Fun is finishing an outstanding year for trainer Al Stall. In eight starts the 5-year-old mare has five wins and three seconds, and in 11 career starts has missed the board only once, in her second race. She is all about the lead, and comes in to the Holiday Inaugural off two straight front-running wins, one on the Keeneland Polytrack and the other on the turf at Louisiana Downs. Had she not been beaten half a length three races back, also at Louisiana Downs, she would have won four straight. Five Star Fun is a neck short of being a stakes winner and could mark that off her to-do list Saturday, so long as she doesn't use too much making the lead from the nine post. Greta Kuntzweiler rides for the first time.
Like Five Star Fun, Vanishing Grey makes her first start at Turfway, adding it to her list of one-night stands. The 4-year-old Irish-bred filly has yet to race at the same track twice while compiling a 3-3-1 record in 13 starts, including her first seven in England. She was second in her last race, beaten just a neck after chasing Five Star Fun throughout at Keeneland, and posted two bullet works on the all-weather surface at Fairhill Training Center last month. Rodney Prescott has the first-time ride for trainer Michael Trombetta.
The field for the Holiday Inaugural from the rail out: Helen Belen (jockey Tom Pompell); Miss Dora (Roberto Morales); Dances With Ashley (Victor Lebron); Waccamaw (Israel Campo); Dr. Diamonds Prize; Lady Primal (Jose Figueroa); Seeking Sheba (Jon Court); Vanishing Grey; Five Star Fun; Leopard Rock (Marcelino Pedroza Jr.); Hyperlink (Perry Ouzts); and Fortune Play (Ramon Vazquez). Eden Star and Groovitude await a chance from the also-eligible list.
The Holiday Inaugural is the ninth race on Saturday's 10-race card. First post is 5:30 p.m.