Lane's End Has Elite Eight...And Counting

There are eight firm candidates for Saturday's Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), according to the racing office at Turfway Park, with as many as four others riding the fence.

The 1 1/8 mile race, run six weeks before the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), will be run Saturday before a national television audience on ESPN2. The cable sports network will show both the Lane's End and Rushaway Stakes from Turfway and the Gotham (gr. III) Stakes from Aqueduct on a one-hour program from 3:30-4:30 EST.

According to Turfway's stakes coordinator Randy Wehrman, the eight confirmed runners for the Lane's End are: Birdstone, Hasslefree, Hippocrates, Little Matth Man, New Element, Silver Minister, Stolen Time, and That's an Outrage.

On the fence are Rockhewn, Sinister G, Tap Dancing Mauk, and Tricky Taboo. All four of those runners are also possibles for the $100,000 Rushaway, run at 1 1/16 miles on the Lane's End undercard.

The Lane's End will be drawn at a special luncheon at noon Thursday.

Rushaway probables are: Boston Brahmin, Gamblin, Iron Rogue, Revolver Six, Tales of Glory, and Uncivil.

Other Rushaway possibles, according to Wehrman, are the Chaseur and Every Advantage from trainer Tom Amoss, the Nick Zito-trained El Prado Rob, and a runner from the stable of Dale Romans, who has several nominated to the race.

Marylou Whitney Stable's Birdstone, high on everyone's Kentucky Derby hopefuls list, figures to be a big favorite in the Lane's End. Jockey Jerry Bailey will be at Turfway for the mount. Zito's runner comes to northern Kentucky off a three-length score in a two-turn allowance race at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 14.

Birdstone breezed six furlongs in 1:15 2/5 on Monday at Palm Meadows Training Center.

Hasslefree, owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, tuned up for the trip from Southern California with a 1:00 4/5 five-furlong drill on Sunday at Santa Anita. The son of Forestry ran 10th in the San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) on March 6 at Santa Anita in his first start of the year. The $425,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale yearling won twice last year, both times sprinting, and earned $108,869 while placing in three stakes.

Other West Coast shippers are Hippocrates and That's an Outrage.

Hippocrates is the Kathy Walsh. The Sanford Robertson homebred son of Hennessy broke his maiden by four lengths in his last start, a 1 1/16-mile event at Santa Anita on Feb. 14. In his previous two attempts he finished well back of Wimbledon, who came back to win last month's Louisiana Derby (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. Walsh would look join Jennifer Pedersen as back-to-back winning female trainers. Pedersen saddled last year's winner New York Hero.

Bull Stick Stables and Mercedes Stables' That's an Outrage was sixth in his last outing, the Jan. 17 Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita. The bay colt by Quiet American, trained by Michael Puhich, ran seventh in last fall's Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) prior to running third behind Lion Heart and St Averil in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I).