The field for the nine-furlong Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) stands at nine as of Wednesday afternoon with the defection of the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Silent Bid. The official cast for the $500,000 race Saturday will be drawn at a special luncheon at Turfway Park Thursday.
"We have decided to go in a different direction with him," Lukas told Turfway officials. "I'm sending the two big horses (Going Wild and Consolidator) out of town for their final preps, so we're going to run Silent Bid in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) on April 9."
Silent Bid, a son of Grand Slam
out of the St. Jovite mare Heavenly Sunset, has a 1-3-0 slate from seven starts. After breaking his maiden at Santa Anita Jan. 15, he finished seventh after setting the pace in the briskly-run Risen Star Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Feb. 12. Silent Bid was a $550,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale purchase.
Those figuring to make the entry box for the $500,000 Lane's End are:Andromeda's Hero
, winner of the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 26Diamond Isle
, fourth behind Noble Causeway in a Gulfstream Park allowance race earlier this month for trainer Ken McPeekFlower Alley
, a recent maiden winner for trainer Todd PletcherMagna Graduate
, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes March 5, the traditional Turfway Park prep for the Lane's EndMayan King
, unbeaten in two New York starts for David Cassidy, Ed Lipton, and Our Canterbury Stables for trainer Gary ContessaMr Sword
, a winner of three straight on the East Coast for Paraneck Stable and trainer Jennifer Pedersen (the connections won the 2003 Lane's End with New York Hero)Spanish Chestnut
, winner of the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) and third in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II)Texcess
, winner of the $1-million Boyd Gaming Delta Jackpot and a recent second in the San Mateo Mile at Bay MeadowsWild Desert
, the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) fifth-place finisher for McPeek and owners Daniel Borislow and Carl Gessler Jr.
Magna Graduate has a win and a second over the main track in Turfway Park stakes for trainer Pat Byrne. Last year, he ran second to Greater Good in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) before being purchased privately by Ohio breeder/owner Betty Alexander from Burr Travis. The son of Honor Grades went on to win an allowance at Keeneland and then ran fifth in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs. Greater Good won that day, and this year has racked up wins in the Southwest and Rebel (gr. III) Stakes at Oaklawn Park.
He started his 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish behind High Fly and Drum Major in the Aventura Stakes at Gulfstream before his 3 3/4-length Battaglia triumph. Running second in the Battaglia was Pavo, who ran a good second (was disqualified to fourth) in last weekend's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct despite his rider losing his irons.
"He's come along at the right time," Byrne said of Magna Graduate on a teleconference Tuesday afternoon. "He's put on weight since his last race. Yesterday (Monday) he galloped out five furlongs in 1:01 (at Churchill Downs). The horse, talent-wise, he's getting there. He's a late April foal. I like the way he's coming around."
Byrne will have the services of Jerry Bailey for the Lane's End Stakes. Byrne said he got a call from Bailey's agent, Ron Anderson, about the mount. Anderson had handled the book of the European riding star Keiren Fallon when he rode in the U.S. briefly this winter, and Fallon had the mount on Magna Graduate in the Aventura and said he liked him.
Magna Graduate was ridden by Dean Sarvis in the Battaglia.
Bred in Kentucky by Nicole Zitani and Ramon Rangel, Magna Graduate is out of the Fast Play mare Peacock Alley. He was a $30,000 yearling purchase on day 11 of the 12-day Keeneland September sale. He was consigned by Highclere Sales, agent.