Thursday, March 11, 2010 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . March 11, 2010 . . . Timeless Fashion heads the field for the $50,000 Tejano Run Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, trying for his second stakes win in a row. Written for horses four years old and up, the race covers 1 1/8 miles.
A six-year-old gelding trained by Tom Drury Jr., Timeless Fashion has been off since winning the 1 1/8-mile Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway in December. He has spent his career going long; three starts back he was fourth, beaten less than a length, in the 1-1/2 mile Grade III Sycamore turf stakes at Keeneland behind the lauded veteran Cloudy's Knight. Timeless Fashion has raced eight times on Turfway’s Polytrack and has missed the money only once, with four wins. He tuned up for the Tejano Run with a six-furlong breeze in 1:13.60 on the all-weather surface at Skylight Training Center last Saturday. James Lopez has returned to Kentucky to take the mount. Usually on or near the lead, Timeless Fashion showed versatility in the Prairie Bayou when he relaxed off the pace until making a wide move into the stretch.
Forest Attack comes in fresh off a win in the Dust Commander Stakes, a race Timeless Fashion won last year. The one-mile Dust Commander was just Forest Attack's second race past a sprint, and while he won by a comfortable four lengths, adding an extra furlong will challenge the six-year-old horse, especially if he and Timeless Fashion push each other on the front end. Forest Attack has 11 career starts on all-weather surfaces and also has missed the money only once; in his eight starts at Turfway, however, he has five wins and three seconds. The meet's leading rider, Tom Pompell, is back aboard for trainer Mike Maker.
Also entered for the Tejano Run is Cherokee Triangle, also trained by Maker and with Orlando Mojica aboard. The five-year-old gelding seeks to regain stakes-winning form in his third start off a 10-month layoff. He has a second at the distance but was not a factor in either of his first two starts since the long break. Completing the short field are Baryshnikov (jockey Ben Creed); Motown Shuffle (Sal Gonzalez Jr.); and Slick Pardoned Me (Fernando De La Cruz).
Regardless of his odds, Timeless Love will certainly be the race's poignant favorite. In his first two races, Timeless Love was ridden by Justin Vitek. In the second of those races, run February 2, 2008, the gelding broke his maiden in what would prove to be Vitek’s last winning ride. Shortly afterward, the jockey was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Vitek lost his battle with cancer on January 28, 2010, at the age of 36.
During a brief remission about a year ago, Vitek returned to riding. Three of his four mounts during that short period were on horses trained by Drury, for whom Vitek rode regularly before his illness. Should Timeless Fashion win the Tejano Run, Lopez, Drury, and owners Judy Miller and R-Cher Family Farms LLC will donate 10 percent of their winnings to the Bree Vitek Education Trust Fund. Bree is Vitek's six-year-old daughter and only child. A memorial service for Vitek is scheduled in the Racing Club at Turfway after Saturday’s races. The service is open to the public.
First post Saturday is 1:10pm ET.