Three East Coast-based colts are scheduled to tackle the local contingent of 3-year-olds Feb. 28 in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes--final local prep for the March 20 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II)--at Turfway Park.
A field of 12 was entered in the Battaglia Memorial, named for the late general manager of the Northern Kentucky track and father of track announcer Mike Battaglia. John Battaglia conceived the Spiral Stakes, first run in 1972 and the forerunner of the Lane's End, which has been run under several different names.
The shippers are Vincent Papandrea's Little Matth Man, winner of the Feb. 7 Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct; Mike Gill's White Mountain Boy, winner of the Feb. 7 Goss L. Stryker Stakes for Maryland-breds at Laurel Park; and Paraneck Stable's Risky Trick, second in three consecutive Aqueduct stakes, including the Whirlaway, this season.
The local group is headed by Lloyd Madison Farms' Silver Minister, winner of the Jan. 3 Turfway Preview Stakes and Feb. 7 WEBN Stakes at Turfway. In the one-mile WEBN, raced on a good track just before the program was canceled because of track conditions, Kentucky-bred Silver Minister cruised home by 5 1/4 lengths in his first start around two turns.
Greg Foley trains and Rafael Bejarano, on board for all three of the Silver Deputy
colt's victories, is named to ride again at 121 pounds.
Little Matth Man, a New York-bred by Matty G
, won the 1 1/16-mile Whirlaway by 1 1/2 lengths over Risky Trick. In his previous start, the colt won a two-turn allowance race at Aqueduct. Martin Ceresa trains and Shannon Uske is named to ride at 121 pounds.
White Mountain Boy, trained by Phil Schoenthal, is a three-time stakes winner and four-for-four in his career. In 2003, the Meadowlake
colt broke his maiden in his career debut, then won the Rollicking Stakes and Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes at Laurel. Though the Stryker was a seven-furlong test, the Juvenile Championship, which White Mountain Boy won by six lengths, was at 1 1/8 miles.
Abel Castellano Jr. gets the call on White Mountain Boy at 121 pounds.
Risky Trick finished second in the Jan. 3 Count Fleet Stakes, the Jan. 19 Fred "Cappy" Capposela Stakes, and the Whirlaway Stakes. The combination of Paraneck and trainer Jennifer Pederson upset last year's Lane's End with New York Hero at 14-1.
Risky Trick, by Clever Trick, will be ridden by Herberto Castillo Jr. at 114 pounds.
One of the locals is Ted Bates Jr.'s Peter the Rock, a Devil's Bag
colt trained by Tom Bergin. In his last start, which produced his second consecutive victory at Turfway, Peter the Rock won a one-mile entry-level allowance test in the mud by 4 1/4 lengths on Jan. 18. He was entered in the WEBN but scratched in the paddock.
Jeff Johnston, aboard for the colt's two victories, has a return call at 114 pounds.
Here's the field, in post-position order, with jockeys and weights:
1 Risky Trick Herberto Castillo Jr. 114 pounds
2 Dancefortyniner Daniel Coa 114
3 Little Matth Man Shannon Uske 121
4 Terrifika Dean Butler 114
5 Peter the Rock Jeff Johnston 114
6 Iron Rouge Jason Lumpkins 114
7 Silver Minister Rafael Bejarano 121
8 Revolver Six Fabio Arguello Jr. 114
9 Tanner Danner Bill Troilo 114
10 Commandment Tony D'Amico 114
11 White Mountain Boy Abel Castellano Jr. 121
12 Tap Dancing Mauk Eddie Zuniga 114
The Battaglia Memorial is the 10th race on a 12-race program. Post time for the feature is set at 5:15 p.m. EST.