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Jockey Jose Lezcano and Dubai Sky circle after winning the 2015 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes
The highlight race of the Turfway Park winter-spring meeting is the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (G3), contested at 1 1/8 miles on the Polytrack. Conditions were excellent for this key Triple Crown prep worth 50 "Kentucky Derby Championship Series" points to the winner, run just 6 weeks before the Kentucky Derby, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 60's. A field of 11 three-year-olds went to post on Saturday afternoon, with El Camino Real Derby (G3) winner Metaboss sent off as the 9-5 favorite. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Royal Son, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial, the local prep for the Spiral, and 9-2 third choice Conquest Typhoon, third in the El Camino Real Derby.
Dubai Sky draws away in the stretch
29-1 Watchyourownbobber and 9-1 Wireless Future dueled for the lead first time by and around the clubhouse turn through opening fractions of 22.99 and 47.57 while stalked by Royal Son and 7-1 fourth choice Dubai Sky. Watchyourownbobber tired entering the far turn allowing Wireless Future to inherit the lead through 3/4 in 1:12.09, but Dubai Sky, 4 wide, easily swept to the front at the 3/16 pole getting 1 mile in 1:36.98. Kept to task by Jose Lezcano, Dubai Sky drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over late-running Conquest Typhoon in 1:50.26. It was a neck back to 37-1 Firespike third, while favorite Metaboss was 6th.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 12 Dubai Sky Lezcano 16.80 7.40 6.00 9 Conquest Typhoon Smith 5.40 3.60 10 Firespike Mena 11.80 Winning Time: 1:50.26 $2 Exacta 12-9 83.80 $2 Trifecta 12-9-10 1,369.00 $1 Superfecta 12-9-10-8 11,983.00
Left: Dubai Sky in the winner's circle. Chris Baker, chief operating officer for co-owner Three Chimneys said his team would have to discuss whether to pay the late nomination fee, as Dubai Sky was not nominated for the Triple Crown early. He said, "With him getting 50 points, we'll take it under serious consideration. He paid his way, so we'll see. Roses in March? Why not May?"
Right: Dubai Sky heads back to the barn after the race. Baker added, ""Bill can train a horse, he can get him ready off a long layoff or whatever. The horse had shown talent, so we felt good. Did he like the surface? Did he get the trip from the (11) hole? All those things. Jose (Lezcano) gave him a great ride, and the horse showed up and did what we wanted and more."
Left: Dubai Sky in the paddock before the race where he proved very difficut to saddle, fighting the process for quite a while. The 7-1 fourth choice stalked the pace in 3rd, then drew clear over the final 3/16 mile for the win. The Bill Mott trainee improved his record to 4 wins and 1 third in 5 starts, earning $439,080 for co-owner Three Chimneys Farm and co-owner/breeder Besilu Stables.
Right: Dubai Sky in the post parade. Winning jockey Jose Lezcano said, "My horse really took off when I asked him. I thought the outside would be better today. He took me to the 1/4 pole, and I saw Mike Smith (aboard Conquest Typhoon) behind me and said, 'It's time to go.'"
Left: Second place finisher Conquest Typhoon in the paddock. The 9-2 third choice was 5th early under Mike Smith then rallied to get second beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Mark Casse trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 4 seconds, and 1 third in 8 starts, earning $471,065 for owner Conquest Stables.
Right: Third place finisher Firespike shortly after the start. Jockey Miguel Mena said, "My horse ran a very good race. I just think he didn't give me everything yet. He looks around big time. Like at the 3/16 pole, (Conquest Typhoon) goes by me. Then he comes back on again and tries to run second."
Left: Beaten favorite and 6th place finisher Metaboss in the post parade. The 9-5 choice was 7th most of the way under Alex Solis and finished 6th beaten 7 lengths. The Jeff Bonde trainee has a record of 2 wins, 1 second, and 1 third in 6 starts, earning $187,970 for owners Arndt, McFetridge, Priess, Metanovic, and Azcarate.
Right: The jockeys for the Spiral Stakes pose for a group shot in the paddock.
The distaff counterpart to the Spiral is the $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks (G3), part of the Kentucky Oaks Championship Series. A full field of 12 three-year-old fillies went to post in this 1 mile Polytrack contest, with Sweet Success sent off as the 2-1 favorite off her maiden win at third asking. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Sharla Rae, winner of the California Oaks at Golden Gate, and 11-2 third choice Don't Leave Me, unraced since 6th in the Natalma (G2) at Woodbine.
Jockey Joel Rosario sent Sweet Success to the lead and she set fractions of 24.06, 47.84, and 1:12.87 while stalked by 40-1 Sweet On Smokey and Sharla Rae. Entering the lane, Sweet Success continued to lead through 7/8 in 1:25.71, but Don't leave Me, 9th early, rallied 7 wide to win by 3/4 length in 1:38.60. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Sharla Rae third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Don't Leave Me Lezcano 13.40 6.20 3.80 7 Sweet Success Rosario 3.80 2.60 9 Sharla Rae Van Dyke 3.20 Winning Time: 1:38.60 $2 Exacta 3-7 63.00 $2 Trifecta 3-7-9 227.20 $1 Superfecta 3-7-9-6 568.30
Left: Don't Leave Me in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Channing Hill said, "She was really comfortable the entire race. The speed went ahead but she sat behind them. She showed her class today. She tipped out and she didn't even fully extend herself. She was geared down once she left her company."
Right: Don't Leave Me in the paddock before the race. Winning trainer Malcolm Pierce said, “We thought we’d bring her here. She ran well in the fall at Woodbine (on Polytrack). We’ll have to see how she cools out, but this is Polytrack and (the Oaks is) on the dirt. It’s a whole different ballgame.”
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Sweet Success in the post parade. The 2-1 favorite set the pace under Joel Rosario but was outfinished. The George Arnold trainee improved her record to 1 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 4 starts, earning $60,090 for owner-breeders G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and W.S. Farish
Right: Third place finisher Sharla Rae returns after the race. The 7-2 second choice stalked the pace under Drayden Van Dyke and held third beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The Doug O'Neill trainee improved her record to 4 wins, 0 seconds, and 1 third in 9 starts, earning $183,545 for owner W.C. Racing.
The jockeys for the Bourbonette Oaks pose for a group shot in the paddock.
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