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Mar 25, 2011

Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes attracts dozen starters


Florence, KY (Sports Network) - A full field of 12 three-year-olds have been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/8-mile race is a major prep for the Kentucky Derby on May 7.

This is the first year that Vinery Racing is sponsoring Turfway's premier event. In the past the race has been known as the Jim Beam Stakes and most recently the Lane's End Stakes. The 2010 renewal was won by Dean's Kitten and in 2007 Hard Spun came in first prior to a second-place finish in the Run for the Roses.

Leading the field is local winner Positive Response. The gelding, winner of Turfway's John Battaglia Memorial, will start from post two with jockey Julien Couton.

Trained by co-owner Bill Morey, Positive Response won the California Derby in his first 2011 start and followed with a third in the El Camino Real Derby both at Golden Gate Fields.

"After the El Camino Derby at home at Golden Gate Field," Morey said about coming to Turfway, "we had run out of races there at Golden Gate for him. And the next options were in Southern California at San Anita which one, is on a dirt track which he hasn't run on yet, and two, very tough competition down there.

"So I looked around the country and spotted these races at Turfway, saw that we could make it maybe a two race plan and we have the Battaglia as our kind of test run here to see if the plan would work. So it worked out great, timing wise. And it gave us kind of a test run here at Turfway to see if he was good enough for the Spiral."

Positive Response has won five of eight career races for $223,201.

Battaglia Memorial runner-up Taptowne has drawn post nine and will be ridden by Ronnie Prescott. The gray colt is owned by Clovertowne Farm and trained by Wayne Mogge.

"The colt's doing awesome," Mogge said. "We're coming back off three weeks (since the Battaglia), so he's already fit. We're happy with his progress. He's gotten better every start, gaining experience. He's in good shape and at this point we're just keeping our fingers crossed that he stays that way."

Taptowne was third in the WEBN Stakes at Turfway last month and has just one win in five starts for $38,000.

Coming from Oaklawn Park is TK Stables' Glint. The colt will be ridden by Gabriel Saez from the far outside post. Glint was scratched from last week's Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn after also drawing an outside post.

"We thought about the Rebel, but then drew the 11 hole and it was a big field, and deep, so we decided to scratch and come to Kentucky," said trainer Kellyn Gorder. "He already has a stakes win on synthetic (the Fitz Dixon Jr. Memorial Juvenile at Presque Isle Downs). We haven't stretched him out yet, but we're excited to see him go two turns. He's training really well -- had a nice breeze on Sunday."

Glint was third in his only start of the year, the Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn on March 5. The colt has earned $87,000 with two wins in three career starts.

Here is the complete field for the Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes in post position order: Preachintothedevil, Junior Alvarado; Positive Response, Julien Couton; Thirtyfirststreet, Kendrick Carmouche; Animal Kingdom, Alan Garcia; Son of Posse, Rafael Mojica, Jr.; Rescind the Trade, Jose Valdivia, Jr.; Beachcombing, Leandro Goncalves; King Congie, Javier Castellano; Taptowne, Ronnie Prescott; Decisive Moment, Kerwin Clark; Twinspired, Victor Lebron and Glint, Gabriel Saez.

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