Questions for Cyber Secret, Occasional View in Prairie Bayou at Turfway
FLORENCE, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2013) – The $50,000 Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday drew an overflow crowd headed by graded stakes winner Cyber Secret, who will use the 1-1/16 mile race as his second start off a six-month layoff.
Trained by Lynn Whiting, Cyber Secret was second in his first start off the layoff, an allowance optional claiming mile on the turf at Churchill Downs Nov. 9. The horse that beat him that day had won seven of his previous eight starts, including an ungraded stake at Louisiana Downs, and won his next start as well. Before the layoff, Cyber Secret won the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) with ease and the Razorback Stakes (G3) with grit, and then was disqualified out of the money after finishing second in the Alysheba Stakes (G2).
The question for 4-year-old Cyber Secret is the Polytrack he faces Saturday. In 16 starts he has six wins, and all have come on dirt. In his lone start on an all-weather surface, he was fourth at Keeneland going seven furlongs. He did work at Turfway on Dec. 16, and his time of :47.60 was the bullet for four furlongs that day. Whether that translates to stakes company, Saturday will tell. Jockey Israel Ocampo has been named to ride.
Robert Trussell claimed Occasional View for $100,000 out of an optional claiming race at Keeneland in October. Three weeks later the 5-year-old gelding finished second in the Grade 2 Autumn Stakes on the all-weather surface at Woodbine, beaten just a neck after setting the pace. The question for Occasional View is not the surface; 14 of his 17 starts have come on all-weather tracks, and he has been in the money half of those races, including four wins. Instead, his question is distance. His runner-up finish in the Autumn Stakes is his only start past a mile, a move made by new trainer Ken McPeek. Sending him to the lead also was a break from past efforts. Victor Lebron, who holds several riding titles at Turfway, has the mount on Saturday.
One interesting long shot is Present Course. Owners Christopher Dunn and Ron Paolucci thought enough of their 4-year-old Bernardini gelding to pay the $2,500 supplemental fee to nominate. He comes in to the Prairie Bayou off four straight impressive wins, but all were on the dirt at Mountaineer. He has twice run in claiming races and was taken both times, first by Ken and Sarah Ramsey for $50,000 this summer at Saratoga. In his next start a month later, the Ramseys dropped him in for $25,000 and Dunn took him. With Jacob Radosevich in the irons, the Prairie Bayou is Present Course’s first stakes attempt.
The Prairie Bayou field from the rail out: Present Course (120 lbs., Radosevich); Pass the Crown (120, Joseph Berrios); Occasional View (120, Lebron); Magical Moment (120, Dean Sarvis); Dreams Cut Short (122, Ben Creed); Knights Nation (121, Roberto Morales); Depeche Chat (120, Channing Hill); Burn the Mortgage (122, Albin Jimenez); Cyber Secret (124, Ocampo); Unstoppable U (124, Noel Vigil); Stormy Going (120, Perry Ouzts); and Villandry (120, Norberto Arroyo Jr.). Polaris remains on the also-eligible list.
The Prairie Bayou, for horses 3 years old and up, is the eighth of nine races on Turfway’s Saturday card. First post is 1:10 p.m.