Saturday, January 30, 2010

Derby Trail Stakes Racing Roundup

Turfway Park’s $50,000 WEBN Stakes to be contested at one mile highlight stakes racing action today for 3-year-olds on the Kentucky Derby Trail. The WEBN is ungraded and does not count in earnings for the Kentucky Derby.

Fish, trained by Philip Sims, heads a full field of 12 juveniles as the 3-1 morning line favorite. But, in my opinion, the race looks wide open and there are a number of horses in this race that could win. Fish has never run in a route race and in his last race Fish finished second in the 6 ½ - furlong Turfway Prevue Stakes, beaten 4 ¼ -lengths by Z.I. Zipp.

A couple of intriguing long shots are Patti’s Kitten (10-1) and Big Bruin (12-1). Patti’s Kitten is owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and he narrowly lost his debut by a half-length last October in a 7-furlong maiden claiming race at Keeneland. In December, Patti’s Kitten broke his maiden by 2-lengths in a mile race at Turfway. In comparison to the rest of the field, Patti’s Kitten’s Brisnet Speed Figures are pretty good and he could be competitive.

Earlier this month, Big Bruin won by an impressive three-lengths to break his maiden in a 6 ½ - furlong sprint at Turfway. A change in riding style may have made the difference in that race as jockey Dean Mernagh kept Big Bruin well off the pace and had him in fifth-place going into the stretch. In his previous two races at Hawthorne Park, Big Bruin was close to the lead in his first race and he had the lead in his second race but faded badly in both. Big Bruin earned an 81 speed figure in his last race for trainer Anthony Mitchell. Mernagh retains his mount on Big Bruin for today’s race and the two of them may be ready to make another good effort.

Proud Of Midway (15-1) is owned and trained by John McKee and he steps up in stakes competition for the first time. In five starts, Proud Of Midway has never been off the board and his speed figures are on par with the rest of this field. Proud Of Midway has never run in a route race but his pedigree suggests that the mile should be no problem. His recent bullet work January 28 indicates that he could be ready for a good effort.

Mickejoe (12-1) finally broke his maiden after the 10th try but he did it in impressive style winning by 14 ¾ -lengths in a 1-mile maiden race at Mountaineer last December. Mickejoe earned a 90 speed figure for that effort. In 10 starts, Mickejoe has been on the board seven times (1-2-4). He has been working good and could be competitive in this race.

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