Saturday, February 11, 2012 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 11, 2012 – Whisked Away upset the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, earning her first trophy and giving trainer Rowena Beck her first stakes win with her first stakes entry. Luis Martinez Jr. was aboard.
Whisked Away left the inside post at 15-1, fifth choice in the field of nine older fillies and mares. She finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Hot Hot Mama, who was a neck better than La Gran Bailadora in third. Final time for the mile was 1:40.88.
As expected, Lou's Angel and Helen Belen went to the front early, with Lou's Angel setting a slow :24.05 quarter and :48.71 half while Whisked Away settled in fourth, inside and two or three lengths off the lead. Helen Belen put away Lou's Angel and put a head in front approaching six furlongs, but Whisked Away angled out from between horses at the same time, led into the stretch, and held off the closing Hot Hot Mama and La Gran Bailadora.
"She's always had such potential, and when we ran her off the 10-month layoff and she won the allowance race (dead heat Dec. 8 at Turfway), that's when we started to realize just what she could be," Beck said. "She does very well running fresh, and two months between races just hit her perfect.
"She got an excellent ride from the rider," continued Beck, who noted that the race set up "pretty much exactly" according to her game plan.
La Gran Bailadora, odds-on favorite at 1-2, closed well but had been last away from the gate, trailed the field through half, and was left with too much to do behind the easy pace.
Behind La Gran Bailadora were Karlie's Holiday, Helen Belen, Miss Heather Lee, City of Trix, On Z Run, and Lou's Angel. Beautiful Temper, Eden Star, and Lunar Mist were scratched by their trainers.
Whisked Away rewarded her backers with $33.40 to win, $12.40 to place, and $4.60 to show.
The Dec. 8 allowance comeback race was Whisked Away's first start for Beck, who has been training since 2005. The 6-year-old mare was trained by Bill Mott through her first nine starts and had competed in New York, at Monmouth, and in Florida.
By Victory Gallop out of Storm Chimes, by Storm Cat, Whisked Away was bred in Kentucky by her owner, Charles Deters. She has four wins, two seconds, and two thirds in 11 starts and earnings of $122,721.
Racing continues Sunday at Turfway, with first post at 1:10 p.m.