Thursday, December 8, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 8, 2011 – La Gran Bailadora loves Turfway Park and gets another chance to prove it this Saturday in the $50,000 My Charmer Stakes.
Winner of the Grade 3 Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff here in September and Grade 1-placed, La Gran Bailadora is the class of the My Charmer, which drew a dozen fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. She has four wins, one second, and one third in six races on the Turfway Polytrack, and in 11 starts on all-weather surfaces here and elsewhere has missed the money only twice.
On the other hand, Turfway has not been a deep closer's track so far this meet and La Gran Bailadora typically comes from far back. Two starts back she was third in the Grade 1 Spinster at Keeneland, beaten less than two lengths after trailing the leaders by more than 15 lengths. She finished second in her most recent start, the Maple Leaf Stakes at Woodbine, after running second-to-last in the short field through most of the mile and a quarter.
Mike Maker trains La Gran Bailadora. Victor Lebron, who rode the filly to a third-place finish in the Fairway Fun Stakes at Turfway in the spring, is aboard for the second time.
Spring Party won the Wintergreen Stakes in March in her only previous start at Turfway and is three-for-six on all-weather tracks. She also races from off the pace, though not usually as far off the lead as La Gran Bailadora. Her last win this year came at Saratoga, and she was twice off the board since, once at Belmont and once at Keeneland. The My Charmer is her first start since October. Ben Creed rides for trainer Eric Reed.
Most of the field will want pace to set them up, and Full Moon Party appears likeliest to do the favor. On Z Run, Brilliant Future, and Japanese Garden also have shown speed, though not as consistently.
The field for the My Charmer from the rail out: On Z Run (jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr.); Brilliant Future (John McKee); Japanese Garden (Fabio Arguello Jr.); La Gran Bailadora; La Rocca (Rodney Prescott); Revelstoke (Matthew Straight); Include the Cat (Sal Gonzalez Jr.); Full Moon Party (Ramon Vazquez); Cactus Cadillac (Luis Martinez Jr.); Spring Party; Golden Galleon (Greta Kunzweiler); and Niji's Grand Girl (Perry Ouzts). Riviera Chic and Bk's Sis' Birthday are on the also eligible list.
The My Charmer runs as the ninth race on Saturday's 10-race card.