Pure Fun, winner of the Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) in December, gets her 2013 campaign started in the $100,000 Fathead Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) as the 8-5 favorite in a field of a dozen 3-year-old fillies March 23 at Turfway Park.
The daughter of Pure Prize is gearing up for a run in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) May 3, trainer Ken McPeek said. The Bourbonette Oaks, at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack, is worth 50 points to the winner in the new system to determine starters in the Kentucky Oaks if the race is oversubscribed. It is the ninth race on Turfway's Saturday card, immediately preceding the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III).
Pure Fun, a 9 1/4-length allowance winner at Churchill Downs in her start prior to the Starlet, has had a nice freshening after racing eight times as a 2-year-old.
"I normally stop on all my 2-year-olds turning 3 and give them a four to six-week break," said McPeek. "It’s a really good program to give them a little time. Pure Fun had really traveled all around and run a lot of races. She has come back really well and fired a couple of bullets in the morning working with Frac Daddy. All systems are go for Saturday."
Pure Fun, who races for Susan McPeek and partners' Magdalena Racing, may get one more race before the Oaks.
"It depends on the Kentucky Oaks points standings," Ken McPeek said. "If needed, I could bring her back in the Ashland (gr. I) or the Fantasy (gr. III)."
As a 2-year-old Pure Fun won three times with one second and one third, while amassing $343,599 in earnings. The highlight of her season came in the 1 1/16-mile Starlet on the Cushion Track Dec. 8 at Betfair Hollywood Park. In that race she trailed the field to the far turn by nearly nine lengths before making a powerful four-wide bid into the stretch to snatch the lead at the sixteenth pile. She won by one length at odds of 6-1.
Pure Fun makes her return off back-to-back bullet moves at Gulfstream Park, where she has been training since mid-February. Her most recent five-furlong breeze was timed in 1:00.85 March 16, quickest of 29 at the distance. Garrett Gomez, who was aboard the chestnut filly for the first time in the Starlet, will have the assignment. They drew post 5 in the large field.
Le Fascinator, making her stakes debut for trainer Graham Motion, and Silsita, also in stakes company for the first time for trainer Todd Pletcher, are both 6-1 on the morning line.
Owned by Bret Jones and Gatewood Bell, Le Fascinator had a 2 1/4-length tally in a first-level allowance event going one mile on grass at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 17. The Hat Trick filly has won two of four starts, all on turf. Joel Rosario rides from gate 4.
Silsita was a first-out maiden winner on the turf at Calder Casino & Race Course last fall, and is coming off a third on the grass in an allowance event over one mile at Gulfstream Feb. 2. In her only try on dirt, she was a weakening fourth behind Flash Forward in a 1 1/16-mile allowance to begin the year a month earlier. This will be the fourth start for the Macho Uno lass, owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Tanourin Stable.
The gray/roan filly will have to deal with post 11 and will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Calumet Farm's Broken Spell will be making a two-week turnaround for trainer D. Wayne Lukas following a lackluster sixth in the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. The daughter of Broken Vow , listed at 8-1, drew post 10 in search of her second lifetime win from 13 starts. Jon Court rides.
Awesome Maria, unbeaten in two races when favored each time, steps into stakes company for trainer Shannon Ritter and WinStar Farm. The Awesome Again filly came from off the pace to score by two lengths in a first-level allowance/optional claiming event at six furlongs Jan. 27 at Oaklawn. She'll be trying two turns for the first time and drew the far outside post.
Fox Hill Farms' two-time stakes winner Martha's Moon makes her second start of the year for trainer John Servis following a close third in the seven-furlong Gasparilla Stakes on the dirt at Tampa Bay Jan. 12.
Corporate Culture, trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables and William H. Lawrence, tries the dirt for the first time after disappointing with a ninth-place finish as the favorite in the Ginger Brew Stakes on turf Jan. 1 at Gulfstream.
Awesome Maria, Martha's Moon, and Corporate Culture are all pegged at 10-1 on the Bourbonette morning line.
$100,000 Fathead Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III, Race 9, 5:14 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Street of Gold (KY), B Creed, 120, E R Reed, 30/1
2. Marathon Lady (FL), R Albarado, 120, S Hobby, 12/1
3. Miss Squeal (KY), A Garcia, 120, G R Arnold II, 12/1
4. Le Fascinator (KY), J Rosario, 120, H G Motion, 6/1
5. Pure Fun (KY), G K Gomez, 124, K G McPeek, 8/5
6. Always Kitten (KY), R Napravnik, 124, M J Maker, 20/1
7. Anahauc (KY), M Mena, 120, B S Flint. 20/1
8. Corporate Culture (KY), J R Leparoux, 118, C C Brown, 10/1
9. Martha's Moon (KY), J Bravo, 124, J C Servis, 10/1
10. Broken Spell (KY), J K Court, 118, D W Lukas, 8/1
11. Silsita (FL), J R Velazquez, 118, T A Pletcher, 6/1
12. Awesome Mama (KY), N Arroyo Jr., 118, S Ritter, 10/1