Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 22, 2007 . . . Marina Ballerina blistered the Turfway Park Polytrack Saturday but Exciting Justice made her pay for the pace and took the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths.
Marina Ballerina was eager in the paddock and more so on the track, burning fractions of :21.89 and :45.09. Racing in fourth along the backstretch, Exciting Justice approached the leader entering the turn and took over entering the stretch. Marina Ballerina, the 2-1 favorite, held second, 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Over the Edge, who ran evenly in third through most of the six furlongs in her first start since January.
"[The speed] was a little bit of a concern because in her past races she’d been able to get right up to the front pretty quick, but I thought she would rate OK and keep running," said winning trainer Joe Cain. Terry Thompson was aboard for the patient winning ride.
The Weekend Delight gave Exciting Justice her first stakes win in her first stakes effort. She entered the race off two consecutive wins, having broken her maiden at six furlongs before winning a first level allowance sprint on the turf, both at Ellis Park.
"I would have probably rather run in another allowance condition, but this came up and she was doing so well we thought we’d try the stake," said Cain.
Seventh choice among the nine fillies and mares, Exciting Justice was sent off at 15-1 and paid $32.40, $11.80, and $7.40. She finished the sprint in 1:10.42.
Completing the order of finish were Country Diva, Spanish Ghost, Humorous Gal, Morner, Tak Wild, and True Tails. Milago scratched.
Exciting Justice is from the second-to-last foal crop of the sprinter Glitterman, who set a world record for 5 1/2 furlongs on the turf during his racing career and was pensioned from stud duty in 2005. The 3-year-old filly now has three wins and a second from five starts, all this year, and career earnings of $81,377 for breeder and owner Justice Farm.
Racing at Turfway Park resumes Sunday at 1:10 p.m.