Parade Clown, winner of the WEBN Stakes in his last start, takes another step toward the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) in the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park Feb. 28.
Parade Clown knocked off favored Music City by nearly three lengths to win the WEBN trophy Feb. 7. He will face some of those same foes --though not Music City -- in the Battaglia, which attracted a field of eight 3-year-olds. The Battaglia is the last major prep stakes at Turfway before the March 21 Lane’s End.
Owned by Don and Mira Ball's Donamire Farm, Parade Clown is trained by Katherine Ball. Veteran rider Bill Troilo, who was aboard the gray/roan son of Distorted Humor for the first time in the WEBN, has the call once again. They'll break from the far outside in the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack test while carrying 121 pounds.
Troilo gave Parade Clown a patient trip in the WEBN, stalking in second while waiting for the front-running Music City to come back to the field. They launched their assault as they straightened for the homestretch in the one-mile race and drew away quickly in the final furlong. It was the colt's second win in five starts, both victories coming at Turfway.
The only other stakes winner in the field is William Stiritz's Proceed Bee, who closed out his juvenile campaign with a victory in a Churchill Downs grass handicap at 1 1/16 miles Nov. 29. The gelded son of Bernstein kicked off his 2009 season with a troubled fifth-place showing in Oaklawn's one-mile Smarty Jones Stakes for trainer Terry Gestes.
Fitzaslew, trained by Ken McPeek for Alliance Racing, lost by a head in his 2009 debut at Gulfstream Park Jan. 30, yielding near the wire after leading in front-running style by three lengths in the homestretch. Leandro Goncalves picks up the mount on Fitzaslew, who became the initial winner for his sire, Seattle Fitz, when he won his first start last June at Churchill Downs. In his only other start, Fitzaslew finished sixth as the favorite in the Miller Lite Cradle Stakes on the turf at River Downs last September.
Dynamite Bob, the third-place finisher in the WEBN at odds of 71-1, returns in this spot, though he'll have to show some more improvement to make up the 14 lengths he trailed by in his last start. The son of Malabar Gold has a 1-1-3 record in 10 lifetime starts. He is trained by Jose Lopez for Bobby R. Rankin and will be ridden from the rail by Manfredi Guzman.
Also coming out of the WEBN is fifth-place finisher Toccet Rocket, a son of Toccet conditioned by John Wainwright, and Platinum Van, a Van Nistelrooy colt who ran sixth in his stakes bow for trainer Edward Frederick.
Shanes Gold, coming off back-to-back wins at Turfway for trainer John Good, makes his initial stakes try. Stratos, who broke his maiden at first asking by six lengths at Turfway Dec. 31, may have regressed some in his most recent start, a fourth-place finish against first-level allowance company at Oaklawn Feb. 1.
$100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes (Race 11, 5:45 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Dynamite Bob (KY), 115, Manfredi Guzman
2. Stratos (KY), 115, Orlando Mojica
3. Platinum Van (KY), 115, Otto Thorwarth
4. Proceed Bee (KY), 121, Rodney A. Prescott
5. Toccet Rocket (KY), 115, Thomas L. Pompell
6. Shanes Gold (KY), 115, Victor Lebron
7. Fitzaslew (KY), 115, Leandro R. Goncalves
8. Parade Clown (KY), 121, William D. Troilo