With two-time local stakes winner Mac the Man taking a pass, the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park March 2 attracted a full field of 3-year-olds loaded with possibilities even if there are a few that figure to draw heavy action.
The Battaglia, at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, is the final local prep for the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) March 23.
It appears the early speed has drawn outside in the form of JoAnn and Alex Lieblong’s For Greater Glory (post 6), George and Lori Hall’s Bye Bye Bernie (post 9), Majestic Racing Stable and RAP Racing’s Avare (post 11), and Sunrise Stables, Gary Tolchin, Aubrey Flanagan, and Bob Smith’s Giant Finish (post 12). Those four are shipping in from out of town.
Another shipper, Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Admiral Kitten, is the morning-line favorite at 7-2. The Kitten's Joy colt is two-for-two including a victory in the El Joven Stakes on the grass at Retama Park in his last start Nov. 10.
Trainer Mike Maker had Admiral Kitten at Gulfstream Park earlier this year but shipped him to Turfway in mid-February to get acclimated. Francisco Torres is in town to ride at 124 pounds from post 5.
$75,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (Race 9, 5:11 p.m. EDT), 3YOs, 1 1/16 Miles (All-Weather)
PP., Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Stormin Monarcho (KY), F Geroux, 118, J Berndt, 8/1
2. Silver Tongued (OH), R Morales, 124, J L Greenhill, 30/1
3. Mellow Fellow (KY), P W Ouzts, 118, T Richardson, 30/1
4. Let's Run (KY), B Creed, 118, M J Maker, 20/1
5. Admiral Kitten (KY), F C Torres, 124, M J Maker, 7/2
6. For Greater Glory (KY), M Pedroza, 118, S Hobby, 8/1
7. General Election (KY), A Jimenez, 118, K Gorder, 8/1
8. Takin the Sloroad (KY), T L Pompell, 118, G S Bush, 30/1
9. Bye Bye Bernie (KY), R A Prescott, 118, K J Breen, 5/1
10. Star Contender (ON), N Arroyo Jr., 124, M E Casse, 4/1
11. Avare (KY), S J Sellers, 124, D F O'Neill, 5/1
12. Giant Finish (NY), G Saez, 118, A W Dutrow, 10/1