There will be two scoops of stakes action at Turfway Park Feb. 13, as the rescheduled Likely Exchange Stakes joins the Dust Commander Stakes on the 12-race card. Both carry $50,000 purses and will be run on Polytrack.
The one-mile Likely Exchange drew 11 older fillies and mares, including Danzon, Exotic Bloom, and Unspoken Word.
Danzon beat males in her last race, a mile allowance at Turfway in mid-January. She has two wins and a third in three career starts on all-weather surfaces and with the exception of an eighth-place finish in the First Lady (gr. I) has run well since returning from a year layoff last fall. Rex Stokes was aboard for the recent allowance win and is back aboard for trainer Kellyn Gorder.
Exotic Bloom has been off since winning the My Charmer Stakes at Turfway Dec. 5 but is training well at Keeneland for Fred Seitz, including a bullet four furlongs on Feb. 11. In her 11 starts on all-weather surfaces she has won five times and missed the money only twice. Rodney Prescott rides.
Trainer Mike Maker drew a line through Unspoken Word’s last race, the Bessarabian Stakes at Woodbine, after a poor break took her out of her front-running game. Tom Pompell will be aboard for the mare’s first start since November. She is two-for-four at Turfway.
The Dust Commander, also a mile, drew a well-matched field of 10 older males and features a best-of-three scenario for Turfway stakes winners Golden Country and Flavor.
Golden Country won the Holiday Cheer by a neck in late December, and while Flavor was fourth in that race, he was beaten just half a length. A month later, Flavor was well clear to win the Forego Stakes, while Golden Country was more than five lengths back in fifth place. Flavor is more successful on all-weather surfaces, with four wins in seven starts compared to Golden Country’s one win in six starts. The obvious question is distance; neither has raced past seven furlongs.
Tend, on the other hand, is two-for-two at the mile, two-for-four on all-weather surfaces, and was a winner in his only start at Turfway, albeit in 2007. Forest Attack also merits a good look, with a runner-up finish at the distance and an outstanding 5-4-0 record in 10 starts on all-weather tracks, including four wins and three seconds in seven starts at Turfway. The runner-up finish came in the Turfway allowance race won by Danzon.
The Dust Commander is the ninth of 12 races and the Likely Exchange is the 11th race on the card. First post is 1:10 p.m. EST.