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Mar 22, 2013

Field of 12 ready for Spiral Stakes


Florence, KY (Sports Network) - A full field of 12 3-year-olds has been entered for Saturday's $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park. The 1 1/8-mile stakes is Turfway's main prep event for the Kentucky Derby.

Winning the Spiral will be worth 50 points in the new Kentucky Derby points system that will determine the starting field for the first Saturday in May.

The last two editions of the Spiral Stakes have been won by Team Valor and trainer Graham Motion. Last year Went the Day Well followed his victory in the race with a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby, and Animal Kingdom captured the Run for the Roses after claiming the Turfway event two years ago.

Heading the field for Saturday's race is General Election, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway Park. Owned by WinStar Farm, the colt will start from post 8 with Albin Jimenez again riding.

"Albin rode the horse really well," trainer Kellyn Gorder said concerning the Battaglia victory. "He's an up-and-coming rider. I was telling someone the other day, this is a kid you're going to hear about in the future."

General Election registered a half-length victory in the Battaglia Memorial as a 13-1 longshot. A son of Harlan's Holiday, the 3-year-old won his maiden race on Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs and followed with a second on Dec. 26 at Fair Grounds. On Feb. 1 the colt finished a distant sixth in an optional claimer at Fair Grounds.

"He didn't like the surface at Fair Grounds, but he's already won on dirt, and he's already won at Churchill," said Gorder. "He broke his maiden at Churchill, and he trained there last summer. And then he won the Battaglia on the Polytrack. He came out of the Battaglia in really good shape."

General Election has earned $81,910 with wins in half of his four career starts.

Highly regarded Uncaptured makes his 2013 debut in the Spiral Stakes. Trained by Mark Casse, the colt will be ridden by Miguel Mena from post 3.

"We hoped to have had a race by now," said Casse. "I had him training at Palm Meadows (Training Center in Florida) on the dirt. The main track at Ocala is all-weather, so we moved him up there so it would be easier on his feet. He's been training on the synthetic for the last couple of months, so the Spiral seemed the best place to bring him back. He's already won twice at Churchill on the dirt, so we know he likes it."

Owned by John Oxley, Uncaptured has won six of his seven starts for $510,837. He spent his first months at Woodbine in Toronto, where he won his first four starts that included three stakes.

After finishing fifth in Woodbine's Grey Stakes, Uncaptured won the Iroquois and Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs.

Here is the field for the Spiral from the rail out: Balance the Books, Julien Leparoux; Channel Isle, Jon Court; Uncaptured, Miguel Mena; Fear the Kitten, Rosie Napravnik; My Name is Michael, Joel Rosario; For Greater Glory , Robby Albarado; Mac the Man, Norberto Arroyo Jr.; General Election, Albin Jimenez; Black Onyx, Joe Bravo; Giant Finish, Jose Espinoza; Taken by the Storm, Alan Garcia; Capo Bastone, John Velazquez.

Post time for the Spiral is called for 5:50 p.m. (ET).

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