FLORENCE, KY . . . January 6, 2007 . . . The $50,000 Turfway Prevue Stakes was a tight two-horse race from the eighth-pole to the wire, with Carnacks Choice edging Joe Got Even to win by a neck. The effort gave trainer Greg Foley his fourth Turfway Prevue win in the past five years.
Even-money favorite Joe Got Even broke to the lead in the first jumps before settling back to fifth as Danny Sez set the quick pace for all but the final furlong. Carnacks Choice lost his footing at the break but recovered under Julien Leparoux to relax in third along the rail. Coming outside on the turn, Joe Got Even got the lead at the eighth pole just a step before Carnacks Choice moved up the rail to take him on. The two fought stride for stride for most of the final furlong before Carnacks Choice gained his narrow advantage. Cajun Mon closed to finish 2 1/2 lengths back in third. Final time for the 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:15.82.
Carnacks Choice seemed ready for a fight, rearing briefly the paddock. "He didn't get hot or anything, so he was all right after we got the tack on him," said Foley. "He got a little worked up at Churchill [before his previous race.] We'll probably school him before his next race.
"It looked like [Joe Got Even] got a little jump on us, maybe, because we had to wait for the hole to open up. But he went on and finished up good."
Completing the order of finish were Danny Sez, Revival Ridge, America's Best, and Camp Commander. Awesome Hero, Follow My Moon, Grand Scale, and Tainted Money scratched.
Second choice at 5-2, Carnacks Choice paid $7,00, $3.40, and $2.60. He now has two wins and two seconds from four career starts and earnings of $66,432. The Turfway Prevue is his first stakes win.
The Turfway Prevue is the first local prep for the Lane's End Stakes in March. Pending a decision by Carnacks Choice's owner, Larry Richardson of Sassafras Racing I LLC, Foley hopes to bring the colt back for the second prep, the one-mile WEBN Stakes in early February.
Foley won the Turfway Prevue in 2003 with Champali, in 2004 with Silver Minister, and in 2006 with Final Copy. In 2003 and 2004 he added wins in the WEBN Stakes and the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes to sweep all three local preps for the Lane's End.
One race before the Turfway Prevue, Leparoux took off his mount after the horse flung his head back during the post parade and struck the jockey in the face, bloodying his nose.
Racing continues at Turfway on Sunday with first post at 1:10 p.m.