Thursday, March 22, 2012 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., March 22, 2012 – Oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has made Todd Pletcher's Heavy Breathing the 3-1 favorite for the $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (G3) at Turfway on Saturday.
Went the Day Well, trained by last year's winning trainer Graham Motion, and Handsome Mike, Doug O’Neill's California shipper, are co-second choice at 4-1.
Heavy Breathing is undefeated in two career starts at Gulfstream Park, including an optional allowance last out at the Spiral Stakes 1 1/8-mile distance. He already has shown patience, stalking the pace under Javier Castellano in both his Feb. 8 debut and the allowance on March 3 and winning both by wide margins. His question will be Turfway's Polytrack surface, but Pletcher earlier noted that the colt trained over a similar surface as a 2-year-old and that horses by Giant's Causeway tend to race well on all-weather surfaces.
New York-bred Went the Day Well comes in off a textbook off-the-pace maiden special win, also at Gulfstream. The Spiral Stakes will be the third U.S. start for the Proud Citizen colt, who began his career with two turf races in England. John Velazquez replaces Castellano in the irons on Saturday.
Handsome Mike has already shown an ability to come back when challenged and has been learning his lessons in strong stakes company. He comes in to the Spiral off a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real (G3) behind Daddy Nose Best and Lucky Chappy and last year was a Grade 3 runner-up in the Generous Stakes on the Hollywood turf. The outside post may hamper his penchant for racing on or near the lead. Joel Rosario replaces regular rider Corey Nakatani on Saturday.
Post | Horse | Trainer | Jockey | Morning Line
1 | Russian Greek | Jerry Hollendorfer | Corey Nakatani | 10-1
2 | Red Jack | D. Wayne Lukas | Marcelino Pedroza Jr. | 30-1
3 | Heavy Breathing | Todd Pletcher | Javier Castellano | 3-1
4 | Went the Day Well | H. Graham Motion | John Velazquez | 4-1
5 | Holiday Promise | Todd Pletcher | Junior Alvarado | 12-1
6 | All Squared Away | Peter Miller | Luis Contreras | 30-1
7 | Ill Conceived | John Servis | Stewart Elliott | 8-1
8 | Coach Royal | Justin Sallusto | Fernando Jara | 15-1
9 | Tizanexpense | Michael Maker | Victor Lebron | 15-1
10 | Mr. Prankster | Michael Maker | Rose Napravnik | 12-1
11 | Stealcase | Mark Casse | Rajiv Maragh | 10-1
12 | Handsome Mike | Doug O'Neill | Joel Rosario | 4-1
The Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes is the 10th of 12 races on Saturday's card. First post is 1:10 p.m. Post time for the Spiral Stakes is 5:45 p.m.