Mr. Prankster will try for his second stakes win in a row when he lines up for the $50,000 WEBN Stakes Feb. 4 at Turfway Park. But he faces tough competition in Phantom Fury and his own stablemate, Magical Season. A field of 10 3-year-olds was entered.
Run at one mile on Polytrack, the WEBN Stakes is the second local prep for the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes (gr. II) on March 24.
Mr. Prankster closed to win the first prep, the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Prevue Jan. 7. He was then soundly beaten in his only race beyond sprint distance, the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. He posted a bullet five-furlong work at Turfway Jan. 28, the best of 22, for trainer Mike Maker, who has been the top trainer at Turfway for four straight meets. John McKee has the mount.
Maker’s other entry, Magical Season, ran into traffic problems in the shorter Turfway Prevue, was forced to go wide, and still made a strong late run to be second. He has already raced in two routes, and while he was out of the money, both came over the Churchill turf. Victor Lebron, the meet’s leading rider, has the call.
Unraced as a 2-year-old until December, Phantom Fury will make his fourth career start in the WEBN. He comes in off two straight romps at Turfway, including a nearly 11-length win in an optional allowance at the WEBN distance Jan. 13. He set all the pace in that race and did nearly the same in his previous start, an eight-length win at sprint distance. Rodney Prescott will ride for trainer Mike Lauer.
Tiz Tee Time makes his first start of the year in the WEBN. He won at first asking in a maiden special at Keeneland in October but a poor break took him out of his next start at Fair Grounds in December. He posted two bullets in January and trainer Phil Sims has him primed for a solid effort. Ben Creed will be in the irons.