Ward, Maker Fillies Square Off in Cincinnati Trophy Stakes
Two of the leading trainers at Turfway Park will square off in the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy Stakes on February 9th, the most prominent race of the night at the Kentucky racetrack.Mike Maker and Wesley Ward have dominated racing at Turfway Park in recent years, finishing first and second by number of victories among trainers at the last four meets. As of February 5th, they are tied atop the current meet standings with seven wins apiece, and both have a strong chance to wind up in the winner’s circle following the Cincinnati Trophy.
Maker will send out Homemade Salsa in the 6 ½-furlong sprint for three-year-old fillies. The daughter of Two Step Salsa has raced exclusively in Florida thus far, where she made a name for herself last year by winning the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes going a mile on turf at Gulfstream Park West. Her last two runs have resulted in defeats in tougher races, including the Gasparilla Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, but Homemade Salsa should find the going a bit easier at Turfway Park and Maker wins at an impressive 26% rate with horses switching from dirt to synthetic tracks like the Polytrack at Turfway Park. Jockey Rogelio Miranda will have the mount.
Homesade Salsa’s stiffest competition could come from the Ward runner Fairyland, who won her debut sprinting 4 ½ furlongs last April at Keeneland. That effort earned her a trip to in England to compete in the Albany Stakes (Eng-III) on turf, and while Fairyland disappointed with a twelfth-place finish, she’s come back as good as ever and recently won a 5 ½-furlong allowance optional claiming race at Turfway Park, giving her an edge in experience over the track. Julio Garcia, who has won 13 of his last 22 mounts at Turfway through February 5th, will retain the mount on the daughter of Scat Daddy.
Also warranting respect are three shippers, Gibby, Wendy Peffercorn, and Streetlady. The Pennsylvania-based Gibby has cracked the trifecta in four of her five starts and ships in off a fifth-place finish in the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Park, while Wendy Peffercorn’s most recent run yielded an easy 11-length victory in an allowance race at Mahoning Valley in Ohio. But the most accomplished of the trio is Streetlady, who opened her career with a pair of victories sprinting 5 ½ furlongs at Fair Grounds in Louisiana, with her maiden win coming over a sloppy, sealed dirt track and her second victory coming on turf in an allowance optional claiming race.
Post time for the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes is 8:11 p.m. Eastern.