With $500,000 and a spot in the Kentucky Derby field on the line, plans are in full swing for the 46th running of the JACK Cincinnati Casino Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday, March 25. The race, which offers points toward the legendary Derby, is the highlight of the Thoroughbred racetrack’s season. – The Grade 3 Spiral Stakes is a designated points race for the Kentucky Derby, which determines starters by points earned across 37 races in the United States, Dubai and Japan. The companion Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks, run the same day, is a points race for the Kentucky Oaks. The two graded races and the black type Rushaway Stakes highlight the day’s 12-race card.
There may be a good shot of rain and storms for the day and temperatures in the 70’s. – One good thing about the all-weather poly-track. It is always fast and the rain may help tighten it up.
Race #8 – The $100,000 Rushaway Stakes – 1 1/16 – 4:33 pm EST
The early speed should set up honest fractions and look for stalkers to enjoy the cat-bird seat.
Cool Arrow, Capture the Glory, and ultra-speedy Hansenation will ensure a good clip will be set going into the first turn. If the time goes around 23.4, you can rest assured you’ll see someone in mid-flight enjoy the garden trip and pounce around the 5/16th’s pole.
#5 Royal by Nature = Robby Albarado in the irons for the red-hot Brad Cox barn winning (27%) on the year. The colt will be making his first start in 4 months and he has faced some solid players. – His races include the $75k Sunday Silence, (G-3) Bourbon Stakes, and the $100k Awad stakes. – Nice resume and he has made some nice middle moves coming up a bit empty nearing the wire. His works in the morning have been regular and makes the move from the turf-to-all weather where the barn wins (25%) and (25%) with his non-graded stakes runners. Albarado is a patient rider and coming in fresh may work to his benefit down the lane.
Race #9 – The (G-3) Bourbonette – 1 mile -3-yr-old fillies – 5:09 pm EST
#8 – Gilded Lily = Tyler Gafflione ventures up from Gulfstream and he climbs in the driver’s seat for Mike Maker. The filly by Speightstown is a perfect 2/2 over the track and she should be right off the speed. Maker is winning at a white-hot (33%) at Turfway Park and she showed me a versatile style where she can set back in mid-flight or jump closer to the lead if the fractions are pedestrian. – This guy can flat out ride and going back to his early days, I was chatting on-line with track announcer Pete Aiello. I told him I thought he looked good in the saddle. and promising for an apprentice. Pete is an excellent handicapper who gave me some words of wisdom from Florida when he said: “Ed, this guy is going to be really good.” – Today can be a excellent chance to strut his stuff.
Race #10 – The (G-3) Spiral Stakes – 1 1/8 – 5:55 pm EST
#9 – Parlor = Jesus Castanon in the irons for Eddie Kenneally on this lightly raced son of Lonhro. He is a neck short of being a perfect 3/3 with wins and has been working a solid clip at Palm Meadows in Florida. He is a closer and will need a half-way solid pace to run down. I like his chances and making his second start of the year should have him right on target.
#10 – Bronson = Son of Medaglia d’ Oro is in the hands of veteran Manny Franco shipping in from New York for the Todd Pletcher barn. He has been enjoying the sun in Florida and has the look of a mid-pack stalker. Franco is a solid rider and the barn wins (35%) going from dirt to the all weather.
#1 – Blueridge Traveler = Channing Hill has the call for Ken McPeek who always has an ace up his sleeve. The son of To Honor and Serve looks to be getting it together late and after four races broke his maiden at FG under the guidance of Hill. His last three efforts of his four race career show he’ll come running late and once they got him off the turf he’s looked better with every race. McPeek is 1/1 at the meet and is a (20%) winning trainer going from dirt to all weather.
There are some really interesting races on tap and you’ll want to use these as a barometer. Download the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms as the final determination of how the races will take shape. They are always dialed in and ready but they really hit the target at Turfway of marquee days. - Enjoy the races and best of luck from your friends at Winning Ponies !