Turfway Park stakes advance and notes by Churchill Downs’ Kevin Kerstein. (Coady photo of Scoobie Quando winning Turfway Preview)
FLORENCE, Ky. (Wednesday, March 1, 2023) – Andrew and Rania Warren’s Scoobie Quando, a debut winner in the $125,000 Turfway Preview Stakes, will attempt to add his name to the Road to the Kentucky Derby Leaderboard as the headliner in an over-subscribed field of 14 3-year-olds that entered Saturday night’s 41st running of the $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial (Listed).
The John Battaglia Memorial will go as Race 8 of 9 with a post time of 9:25 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post is 5:55 p.m.
Run at 1 1/16 miles, the John Battaglia Memorial is the final race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Season. The top 5 finishers will be awarded qualifying points on a 20-8-6-4-2 scale for a spot in the starting gate for the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, May 6. Turfway’s Saturday program also features the $150,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks.
Trained by Ben Colebrook, Scoobie Quando debuted on Jan. 7 in the Turfway Preview where he gamely dug in to defeat Retained by a neck under jockey Luan Machado. In his last start, Scoobie Quando finished second best to Wadsworth in a first-level allowance event at Turfway.
“Timing wise, the Turfway Preview worked out well for us to run him first out,” Colebrook said. “He’s always trained like a good horse in the mornings and been the best of the company I worked him in. I’m not one to let a horse draw off on their company so I think in the (Turfway Preview) he ran to how he worked but wasn’t going to let the runner-up by him. He’s light on experience so we opted to run him in the allowance race where Luan (Machado) said once he sort of got to the outside he was able to make a better run but was just second best that day.”
Machado will be back aboard Scoobie Quando in the John Battaglia Memorial and break from post No. 4.
Chief among his rivals in the John Battaglia Memorial is SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital and Catherine Donovan’s $100,000 El Camino Real Derby runner-up Gilmore. Now under the care of Brendan Walsh, Gilmore was previously conditioned by Bob Baffert in California. The gray son of Twirling Candy was the 9-5 post time favorite in the El Camino Real Derby where he finished 1 ½ lengths behind Chase the Chaos. Previously, Gilmore was bet down to odds of 1-5 in a maiden special weight contest at Los Alamitos where he easily defeated eight rivals by four lengths. Gilmore will be ridden in the John Battaglia Memorial by Joe Ramos from post 3.
Other top prospects that entered the John Battaglia Memorial include: Gary and Mary West’s undefeated Aristocracy; OXO Equine’s local allowance winner Bromley; Tami Bobo and Lugamo Racing Stable’s $150,000 Laurel Futurity winner Congruent and M Racing Group’s Gulfstream Park allowance winner Eyes On the King
Here is the complete field for the John Battaglia Memorial from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Good Heart (Jane Elliott, Walsh); Aristocracy (Fernando De La Cruz, Brad Cox); Gilmore (Ramos, Brendan Walsh); Scoobie Quando (Machado, Colebrook); Accident (Orlando Mojica, Tommy Short); American Speed (Chris Landeros, Brad Cox); Eyes On the King (Brian Hernandez Jr., Mark Casse); Miranda Rights (Rafael Hernandez, Mark Casse); Freezing Point (Gerard Melancon, Joe Lejzerowicz); Bromley (Gerardo Corrales, Paulo Lobo); Moon Landing(Walter Rodriguez, Kevin Attard); Congruent (Sonny Leon, Antonio Sano). Also Eligibles: Ironsides (Declan Cannon, Victoria Oliver); Clear the Air (Jack Gilligan, Will Walden).
Fans can watch and wager on the John Battaglia Memorial on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.
GRADE III WINNER FUN AND FEISTY TO MAKE TAPETA DEBUT IN CINCINNATI TROPHY STAKES – Lucky Seven Stable’s Grade III winner Fun and Feisty is set to make her first try on the Turfway Tapeta surface against eight 3-year-old fillies that entered Saturday’s 41strunning of the $150,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes.
The Cincinnati Trophy Stakes was carded as Race 6 with a post time of 8:25 p.m. (all times Eastern). Saturday’s first of nine races will get underway at 5:55 p.m.
The Cincinnati Trophy Stakes is the final race in the Road to the Kentucky Oaks Prep Season. The one-mile contest will offer the top 5 finishers points on a 20-8-6-4-2 scale in their attempt to qualify for a spot in the starting gate for the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) to be run Friday, May 5. The Cincinnati Trophy is the co-headlining race of the night along with the $150,000 John Battaglia Memorial on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Fun and Feisty, trained by Kenny McPeek, broke her maiden in her third start on Arlington Million Day at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Midshipman returned one month later in the $300,000 Pocahontas (GIII) where she rallied in deep stretch for a 3 ½-length score. In her last two starts, Fun and Feisty finished a disappointing eighth in the $500,000 Alcibiades (GI) and third in the $200,000 Rags to Riches. The Cincinnati Trophy Stakes will be Fun and Feisty’s first start in more than four months. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. will have the riding assignment from post No. 9.
Chief among Fun and Feisty’s rivals in the Cincinnati Trophy is LNJ Foxwoods and Clearsky Farms’ Botanical, who will attempt her first stakes try following two dominant victories at Turfway. Two starts ago, the Brad Cox-trained Botanical broke her maiden by 10 ¾ lengths in a one-mile maiden special weight contest. In her last start seven weeks ago, Botanical cruised to a front-running 4 ½-length allowance victory under jockey Chris Landeros. Botanical will break from post 3 in the Cincinnati Trophy with Landeros in the irons.
Another top filly that entered the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes is Keith Grass’ recent $125,000 Valdale Stakes winner B G Warrior. Trained by Ron Kahles, B G Warrior pulled a shocking 41-1 upset victory three weeks ago in the Valdale. Previously, the daughter of Run Away and Hide crossed the wire first in the $125,000 Gowell Stakes but drifted out in late stretch and was disqualified to second. The two-time winner will be ridden by David Haldar from post 7.
Here is the complete field for the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Miss Peabody (Fernandeo De La Cruz, Troy Newton); Ladan (Tyler Heard, Fergus Bogle); Botanical (Landeros, Cox); Bulsara (Gerardo Corrales, Mike Trombetta); Tammy Tap Tap Tap (Declan Cannon, Phil Bauer); Moon Magic Chrissy (Rogelio Miranda, Doug Danner); B G Warrior (Haldar, Kahles); Jill Jitterbug (Manny Esquivel, Ryan Walsh); Fun and Feisty (Hernandez, McPeek).
Fans can watch and wager on the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes on www.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of Churchill Downs Incorporated and the Kentucky Derby.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing will resume at Turfway Park on Thursday for the first of five three-day weeks. Starting Saturday, Turfway will run nine-race programs while Thursdays will remain eight-race cards. … First post at Turfway will remain 5:55 p.m. with the exception of Jeff Ruby Stakes Day which will have an early start of 12:45 p.m. The Jeff Ruby Steaks will go to post at 6:25 p.m. … Entering Thursday’s card, apprentice jockey Walter Rodriguez leads the Turfway standings with 33 wins. He’s followed by Fernando De La Cruz (29), Gerardo Corrales (29), Chris Landeros (19) and Luan Machado (19). In the trainer standings, Wesley Ward has a 16-10 win lead over Brad Cox, Paulo Lobo, Mike Maker and Bill Morey. Ward also leads the owner standings with six victories. … For dining reservations and more information, visit www.turfwaypark.com.