(From Turfway Park)
The 38th renewal of the Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park has drawn 112 nominations, it was announced Feb. 22.
For 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles, the Lane’s End is scheduled for Saturday, March 21. The race is traditionally run six weeks before the first Saturday in May as a prep for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), and its $500,000 purse virtually guarantees the winner a spot in the Derby field should more than 20 seek to enter.
The winners of both local preps run to date are nominated to the Lane’s End. Loch Dubh, trained by Jeff Talley for Texas Toyco, won the Turfway Prevue sprint in January, and Parade Clown, trained by Katherine Ball for Donamire Farm, was nominated on the strength of his win in the WEBN Stakes.
Also nominated to the Lane’s End was West Side Bernie, who won the 2008 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway for trainer Kelly Breen and owners Lori and George Hall before finishing sixth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I).
Three nominated horses have connections to Lane’s End, the Versailles, Ky., farm that has sponsored the race since 2002. Coffee Bar is owned by Will Farish, who founded Lane’s End, and Active Duty and Shafted are owned by Woodford Racing, the nom de course of Farish’s son, Bill. All three are trained by Mark Casse.
Graham Motion, who won last year’s Lane’s End Stakes with Adriano, has nominated Smart Bid for Augustin Stable. Last year’s winning owner, Courtlandt Farms, is represented by Gresham and Stratos, both trained by James Baker.
Trainer Todd Pletcher’s national stable leads the nominations with 13. Pletcher has won the race twice, in 2005 with Flower Alley and in 2001 with Balto Star. The equally deep and wide stable of Steve Asmussen is represented by 12 nominees.
The Lane’s End Stakes undercard features the grade III Bourbonette Oaks, a one-mile race for 3-year-old fillies leading to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I); the 1 1/16-mile Rushaway Stakes for 3-year-olds, also a prep for the Derby; the six-furlong Queen Stakes for older fillies and mares; and the six-furlong Hansel Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Both the Rushaway and the Lane’s End will be televised by ESPN2 and broadcast by Horse Racing Radio Network. Gates open at 10 a.m. EDT on March 21.