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Mar 20, 2009

Prado seeks second straight Lane's End Stakes


Florence, KY (Sports Network) - Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will go after his second consecutive victory on Saturday in the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park. Prado will be aboard West Side Bernie who will face 11 rivals in the 1 1/8 mile race.

Prado rode Adriano to victory in last year's edition of the race. Two years ago Hard Spun captured the Lane's End in his final start before his runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby.

West Side Bernie will be making his first start since finishing third in the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream Park in late January. For the Lane's End the colt will start from post four and is the 3-1 second choice in the morning- line.

"Two longshots got out there (In the Holy Bull), and kept on running," said trainer Kelly Breen. "Bernie came from next to last, so he ran his race, but nobody that day came from worse than third to win, so if you take that into consideration, he ran a pretty powerful race that day."

West Side Bernie is owned by Lori and George Hall, who saw their horse win the Kentucky Cup Juvenile as a two-year-old. The colt was sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and second in the Delta Downs Jackpot. He has won two of five career starts for $247,960.

"I think his running well at Delta Downs in the million-dollar race gave him enough earnings that I could take my time with him," noted Breen. "His next race for me would be the Kentucky Derby. I would not run him again. I would save him, and I think that would help him. I'm looking for him to run a big race on Saturday. He's matured a lot. He's more focused now. He's running straight. He's run enough already against the elite horses that I'd say he belongs in the Derby."

The 5-2 program favorite is Bittel Road, trained by Todd Pletcher. The colt will break from post two with Garrett Gomez getting the mount for the first time.

"I think (Bittel Road) is versatile," said Pletcher. "He can adapt to any pace scenario. We'll see how the race looks on paper, then put Garrett up and let him make the decisions out there."

Owned by James Scatuorchio and John Iracane, Bittel Road has three wins in seven lifetime starts for $286,640. The three-year-old began the year with a fourth-place finish in the Robert B. Lewis Stakes behind Pioneerof the Nile. He finished 2008 with a fourth to Pioneerof the Nile in the CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park.

"The form of his races has been holding up well," said Pletcher. "He's been racing against Pioneerof the Nile and I Want Revenge, but the key now will be to see how he transfers his races at Hollywood and Santa Anita to what is a little different synthetic surface at Turfway Park. We're going to see how this race goes, and then we can decide whether to train him up to the Kentucky Derby or run once more in the Lexington Stakes."

Here is the complete field for the Lane's End Stakes in post position order: Hold Me Back, Kent Desormeaux, 6-1; Bittel Road, Garrett Gomez, 5-2; A.P. Cardinal, Cornelio Velasquez, 10-1; West Side Bernie, Edgar Prado, 3-1; Jack Spratt, Julien Leparoux, 8-1; Parade Clown, Eibar Coa, 10-1; Bruce N Autumn, Victor Lebron, 20-1; Orthodox, Jesus Castanon, 10-1; Loch Dubh, Calvin Borel, 20-1; Flying Private, Israel Ocampo, 12-1; Dynamite Bob, Manfredi Guzman, 50-1 and Proceed Bee, Rodney Prescott 12-1.

The Lane's End has a scheduled post-time of 5:45 p.m. (et) and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.

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