Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, March 22 from Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. Some of the best three year olds in the land will take to Turfway Park's Polytrack surface and go 1 1/8 miles for the winner's portion of the very nice $550,000 purse and the 50 qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby in May.
A full field of 12 three year olds will line up in the Spiral Stakes - race 11 on Turfway Park's Saturday card. Post time is 6:28 PM. Let`s take a glance into the past performances of all 12 contenders for this important "Road to the Kentucky Derby" Grade 3 stakes.
Tamarando - Jerry Hollendorfer trained colt had three MSW starts to start his career and finally broke maiden at Del Mar August 18 after a second in his second start and a fourth in his debut. He went on to win two of four starts - the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity at 7-1 odds over Dance with Fate September 4 and the 1 1/16 mile, $100,000 Real Quite Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths over Electric Eddie and Karma King November 23. He also had a pair of thirds sandwiched in there - the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita in September in his first try around two turns and the minor Golden State Juvenile. Last time out was a terrific win at this distance in the Grade 2 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 15 after an OK second in the minor California Cup Derby behind the terrific California Chrome at Santa Anita January 25 and a respectable third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park December 14. Tamarando is the tepid 3-1 favorite for the Spiral for good reason and will leave from post 4 with Russell Base aboard.
We Miss Artie - Todd Pletcher hopeful had a three length MSW score August 11 after a second in his debut in a similar race at Belmont Park July 4. Last time out was a career worst performance - an eighth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream February 22 after a respectable second in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes here January 19 and a somewhat disappointing seventh in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Before the Breeders' Cup was a terrific win in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland October 5 and a disappointing sixth in his stakes debut - in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga August 29. He has certainly been up and down in his career and will be looking for a strong bounce back Saturday. We Miss Artie is the morning line second choice at 4-1 odds and will have Javier Velazquez in the saddle from post 11.
Poker Player - Wayne Catalano trained colt won two straight races including the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes in October and then went on to a disappointing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Last time out was an OK second behind Solitary Ranger in the John Battaglia Memorial on this track March 1. Poker Player is 5-1 on the morning line with Channing Hill getting the nod.
Solitary Ranger - Wayne Catalano trainee had a career defining win in the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity September 7 over Whyruawesome after a pair of seconds in his first two career starts. He stumbled to a ninth in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity in October but has since won two straight ahead of the Spiral - an Allowance Optional Claiming January 5 and the minor John Battaglia Memorial by 4 3/4 lengths on this track March 1. He has three wins and two seconds in five career starts - ultra-competitive in all starts but one. Solitary Ranger is an intriguing 6-1 on the morning line with Florent Geroux guiding him from gate 8 - looking to become the only the second horse to ever win the Battaglia and the Spiral.
Almost Famous - has won two of five career starts for trainer Patrick Byrne - an Allowance Optional Claiming by six lengths at Churchill Downs November 9 and a MSW in his career debut at Churchill Downs in September. His other career results were a disappointing eleventh last time out in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth February 22, a fourth in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 2 Holy Bull Stakes January 25 and another fourth in the Street Sense Stakes October 27. Calvin Borel rides from gate 9at 6-1 odds.
Coastline - Mark Casse trained colt won two of his first three career starts including the minor Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs in October with a second over that span and looked decent in his step up in competition. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park February 17 after a decent third in the minor Smarty Jones also at Oaklawn and a disappointing eighth in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot in November. Coastline will be looking to place in graded stakes company for the first time Saturday, is listed at 8-1 odds and will have Stewart Elliot aboard from post 5.
Asserting Bear - Reade Baker trained colt finished a disappointing eighth after pressing the pace in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at Woodbine September 14 but looked better after that in minor stakes action - a second in the minor Kingarvie Stakes December 7, a win in the Coronation Futurity in November and a third in the Cup and Saucer Stakes in October - all results at Woodbine. Last time out was a fifth in the Sam F. Davis Stakes on this track February 1. He has seven career starts with two wins, a second and a third place finish. Joe Rocco gets the mount form post 2 at 12-1 odds.
All Tied Up - Todd Pletcher pupil will race in stakes company for the first time Saturday after seven career starts produced two wins, a second and a third place finish. Last time out was a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream after a Starter Optional Claiming score on that same track January 24. He has won two of his last four starts but makes an enormous step up in competition Saturday. Luis Saez will be in the saddle from the 7-hole at 12-1 odds.
Smart Cover - finished a very good second by a neck and just ahead of the impressive Tapiture in the Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes way back in September for trainer Dale Romans after breaking maiden in his second career start - July 28 at Ellis Park and a fifth in his debut in a MSW at Churchill Downs. Last time out was a horrible eleventh in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 1. He had looked good before last time out and will be looking to rediscover his form this weekend. Smart Cover will be sent off at 20-1 odds with Cory Lanarie in the reins from post 6.
Harry's Holiday - Michael Maker trained colt is coming off a third behind Solitary Ranger and Poker Player in the minor John Battaglia Memorial on this track March 1 after his first stakes score - the 96ROCK Stakes also here February 1. He has three wins, a second and a third place finish in six career starts, has fared well in minor stakes action but will be making his graded stakes debut this weekend. Rosie Napravnik gets the call from gate 10 at 20-1 odds.
Big Bazinga - shipped in from Woodbine and finished seventh in the Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot November 23 after two good career starts. They were a second in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes October 6 after a MSW score September 8. He most recently finished second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Gulfstream February 22 after an eleventh in the Grade 2 Holy Bull on that same track January 25. Big Bazinga looked good early in his career but has failed to develop the way many envisioned. He is the co-longest shot in the field at 30-1 odds and will have Luis Contreras aboard.
Arctic Slope - Kenneth McPeek pupil has five career starts with a win, a second and a third place finish but has finished off the board in his last two starts overall. Last time out was a sixth in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs November 30 after a tenth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on that same track three weeks earlier. He did finish a good third in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October after breaking maiden in September but his last two starts have been less-than-spectacular to say the least. Angel Jimenez rides from the far outside post at 30-1 odds.
Race 11 on Turfway Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:28 PM.
||J. Rocco, Jr.
||All Tied Up
||We Miss Artie