Jeri and Sam Knighton's Request for Parole, viewed as one of the top 2-year-olds in the Midwest last year, is scheduled to make his 2002 debut Saturday in the $50,000 WEBN Frog Stakes at Turfway Park.
The one-mile WEBN Frog, named for a major radio station in Cincinnati, Ohio, that serves as Turfway's top media partner, formerly was called the Presidents Stakes. It is one in a series of local stakes that lead up to the $500,000 Lane's End Spiral Stakes March 23 at the Northern Kentucky track.
A field of 12, including an entry, has been entered in the WEBN Frog. The entry of Request for Parole and the Knightons' Thunder on Land, is expected to be heavily favored.
Request for Parole, trained by Steve Margolis, won almost $200,000 last year in seven starts. One of his two victories came in the Ellis Park Juvenile Stakes in August.
In September, the Judge T C colt finished a neck behind highly regarded Harlan's Holiday in the Miller Genuine Draft Cradle Stakes at River Downs. After an even fifth-place finish behind Siphonic in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October, Request for Parole finished second twice at Churchill Downs -- to Harlan's Holiday in the Iroquois Stakes, and to Repent in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.
His works at Turfway have been outstanding: on Jan. 16, Request for Parole worked six furlongs in 1:14, and on Jan. 25, he went five furlongs in 1:00.20. Joe Judice, the only jockey to have ridden the colt, was injured recently and sidelined. Brian Peck, currently one of the leading riders at Turfway, gets the call.
Thunder on Land, also trained by Margolis, finished third in the Turfway Prevue Stakes Jan. 5. The winner of that event, Stonecrest Farm's Perfect Drift, looms a strong second choice in the WEBN Frog.
Trained by Murray Johnson, the son of Dynaformer will make his first start around two turns. Perfect Drift has been training very well at the Churchill Downs Sports Spectrum, and Tony D'Amico, who has spent most of January in Florida, is named to ride.