WEBN Stakes Starts Turfway Park Path to Spiral
FLORENCE, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2016) – A full field of three year olds will line up for the $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park on Saturday for the 30th renewal of the 6-1/2 furlong race.
The sprint is the first of two local preps for the Northern Kentucky racetrack’s Kentucky Derby qualifier, the $500,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes on April 2.
One of two fillies in the race, Banree is the morning line favorite at 5-2 and the top earner in the field. The WEBN will be her first start of 2016; she was third in her last outing, the one-mile Tempted Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct in November. Two starts back she won an allowance sprint at Keeneland in October, defeating the eventual runner-up in the Silverbulletday Stakes, Midnight On Oconee. Banree has run against males twice before, including her debut win at Keeneland last spring, but the WEBN will be her first attempt on Polytrack. Wesley Ward likes the surface for his young horses and has been training her at Turfway. He calls in Edgar Prado to ride.
Oh Oz comes in to the race off three straight sprint wins, the last two by significant margins at Turfway in December and January. Turfway has been kind to front runners, and with the exception of his debut the gelding has led the way at nearly every call; two races back he showed he can sit off the lead if asked. Rodney Prescott, who regularly finds the winner’s circle in Turfway stakes, has the call for trainer Chuck Peery. Oh Oz is 4-1 on the morning line.
Since winning the Arlington-Washington Futurity (G3) over Polytrack as a two year old, Shogood has struggled in one-mile ungraded stakes on dirt, first at Churchill Downs in November and again at Oaklawn Park in January. His winning form has meant speed, which may be hampered by his post 11 draw. Shogood returns to Polytrack and cuts back to sprinting in the WEBN for trainer Scott Becker, with Chris Emigh in to ride.
The field for the WEBN from the rail out: Surgical Strike (jockey Orlando Mojica, 118 lbs.); Blue Wings (Richard Bracho, 118); Banree (Prado, 113); Oh Oz (Prescott, 120); Oscar Mike (Albin Jimenez, 118); Aussie Fury (John McKee, 118); The Right Thing (Perry Ouzts, 118); Twirling Cinnamon (Gonçalves, 122); Run Like Elle (Malcolm Franklin, 118); Van Damme (T. D. Houghton, 118); Shogood (Emigh, 122); and Tia Flor, the other filly (Rolando Aragon, 113). Gold Ekati and Kiss Limit wait on the also-eligible list.
The WEBN Stakes is the seventh of 10 races on Saturday’s card.
The second local prep for the Spiral, the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, runs March 12.