Mar 23, 2012
Field of 12 entered for Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park
By: SPORTS NETWORK
Florence, KY (Sports Network) - An evenly matched field of 12 three-year-olds has been entered for Saturday's $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/8-mile race will be run on Turfway's all-weather main track.
Last year Animal Kingdom won the Spiral Stakes as his last prep race before capturing the Kentucky Derby. He was voted 2011 champion three-year-old colt.
Starting for the fourth straight time at Turfway will be Mr.Prankster for co- owner and trainer Mike Maker. The colt will break from post 10 with Rosie Napravnik coming north for the mount.
"She's been riding for us in New Orleans this winter and doing well," said Maker about Napravnik.
Mr. Prankster is coming off a fourth-place result in the John Battaglia Memorial four weeks ago at Turfway.
"He broke well (in the Battaglia) but the pace wasn't quick, and John (McKee) should have taken control of the race," said Maker. "He spent half the race trying to talk him out of running and the other half trying to talk him into it. So I'm throwing that one out."
The colt has two earlier wins this year at Turfway in the Prevue and WEBN Stakes. He has three wins in seven starts for $122,122.
Maker also has Tizanexpense entered for owners George and Tiffany Veloudis. The colt will be ridden by Victor Lebron from just to the inside of Mr. Prankster.
Tizanexpense broke his maiden in December at Fair Grounds Race Course and came back the following month to take an allowance race. Last month he finished seventh in the Risen Star Stakes.
"His post position in the Risen Star didn't help him and he was really wide around the first turn," said Maker. "He also almost dropped (jockey) Miguel (Mena). He's run well on the turf and dirt, and now we're anxious to get him back on Polytrack."
Mike Maker won the Spiral with With a City in 2006 and four years later with Dean's Kitten.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer brings in Russian Greek, winner of January's California Derby. The colt will start from the rail post with Corey Nakatani coming in to ride. Hollendorfer goes for a third Spiral Stakes win having won in 1998 with Event of the Year and in 2000 with Globalize. Nakatani rode to victory in the race aboard Serena's Song in 1995.
Russian Greek was the 8-5 favorite for the Cal Derby after winning two stakes at Golden Gate Fields in 2011. He finished fifth to Daddy Nose Best in the El Camino Real Derby last month. Owned by Olympia Star Inc., the colt has earned $125,700 in five career starts with three wins.
Here is the full field for the Spiral from the rail out: Russian Greek, Corey Nakatani; Red Jack, Marcelino Pedroza Jr.; Heavy Breathing, Javier Castellano; Went the Day Well, John Velazquez; Holiday Promise, Junior Alvarado; All Squared Away, Luis Contreras; Ill Conceived, Stewart Elliott; Coach Royal, Fernando Jara; Tizanexpense, Victor Lebron; Mr. Prankster, Rose Napravnik; Stealcase, Rajiv Maragh and Handsome Mike, Joel Rosario.
Post-time for the Spiral Stakes is approximately 5:45 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
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