Saturday, December 15, 2012 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Dec. 15, 2012 – Night Party broke first and set all the pace in the $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, coming home an easy 2 1/4-length winner over favored Twinspired. Wealth to Me was third at 22-1, a neck farther back.
Although 21-1 Red All Over kept Night Party company to mid-stretch, the winner had no trouble shaking free after textbook fractions of :24.01 for the quarter, :48.01 for the half, 1:11.95 for six furlongs, and 1:37.06 for the mile. Winning time for the 1 1/16-mile Prairie Bayou was 1:43.68.
A slow break did Twinspired no favors, but he got a ground saving trip before angling out between horses in the stretch to make a credible late run. Wealth to Me settled in fourth early and moved up late. Red All Over stayed in for fourth.
“We took our time and let him develop, and I’m real happy with the way he performed,” said winning trainer Pat Huffman. "They pressed on him but he was the best horse today. You're always concerned when you've got pressers, because he's one you can't take back—I've tried it."
"He places himself where he's comfortable, and he loves this racetrack," said winning rider Shane Sellers. "He's been knocking on the door in some very tough company and Pat always had confidence in him. That's all that matters. I rode him the last three times and he always tries, every time. It set up good for him, and I was just a passenger."
The bettors’ second choice at 3-1, Night Party paid $8.40, $4.20, and $3.60.
Fifth and following were Derby Kitten, Son of a General, Ol Army, Master Rocket, and the fillies Submission and Eye Candy Annie.
Night Party's recent "tough company" included a third place finish in Churchill's Grade 2 Firecracker Handicap and a second in the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap this summer and two strong allowance performances at Churchill in November. Night Party broke his maiden at Turfway in his second start and won an allowance race at the Northern Kentucky track to begin his 4-year-old campaign.
A son of Rahy out of Revolutionary Act, by Boston Harbor, Night Party now has five wins, five seconds, and three thirds in 21 lifetime starts and earnings of $231,959 for owner/breeder Camelia Casby. Four of his wins have come in his 4-year-old season.
Racing at Turfway continues Sunday, with first post at 1:10 p.m. ET.