John Battaglia Memorial Stakes is final prep for GIII Spiral Stakes at Turfway – Post Positions, Picks, M/L Odds, Free Past Performances

Turfway Park offers up its final Derby Prep on Saturday March 24th in the $500,000 GIII Vinery Spiral Stakes!
Turfway Park offers up the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes this Saturday!!

$100,000, John Battaglia Memorial Stakes, 3YO’s, at 1 1/16 miles (AWT) ( Race #10, Post time 5:22 p.m. EST).

Free Past Performances,

The $100,000, John Battaglia Memorial Stakes offers a field of 11, 3yos in this final 3yo prep at Turfway Park before next month’s $500k GIII Vinery Spiral Stakes that will offer 50 points towards a Derby gate for that winner!

Turfway Park came into Derby Trail prominence in 2011 when a little known 3yo named Animal Kingdom came rolling off the Turfway far turn to handily win the 2011 Spiral Stakes, then going on to win the 2011 GI Kentucky Derby, was 2nd to Shackleford in the 2011 GI Preakness Stakes and last year won the biggest money race of them all in the 2013 $10,000,000 Dubai World Cup race!

Hoping to follow in those famous Turfway Park footsteps are,

Canzoni , at 4/1, by Unbridled’s Song, lose a stretch duel to Here’s Johnny in the $100k OBS Stakes last out by a nose but beating East Hall the 4th finisher in last Saturday’s GII Fountain Of Youth Stakes, covering the 1 1/16 mile over a w/f surface in 1:45.4! Just a pair of lifetime starts for this one, with one front running race and the other a closing race! Take your pick here!

Poker Player , at 9/2, by Harlan’s Holiday, winner of the GIII Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland last fall, but went on to finished 8th last out in the GI B/C Juvenile Turf where a very hot early pace and the Euro’s wilted him in the stretch. No Euro’s here or early 22’s, 45’s or 1:09’s either as this one’s a closer if not worn out first!

Solitary Ranger , at 5/1, by U S Ranger, sparred for the early GI Breeders’ Futurity lead last fall with General Jack, with the same basic result finishing 9th 11 back at the line. He did beat Kids Rule , in that same F/G’s $50k turf 1x Oc last out going a “yielding” mile in 1:39.4 winning by a length in a nice wire to wire effort. Early speed here everyone and coming from post #2 he should be right there up front on the clubhouse turn!

Laddie Boy , at 6/1, by War Pass, was 2nd to Tapiture in last fall’s GII Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths in his last out. He got 3 big graded outings on his resume all at this 1 1/16 mile distance too. Tends to be an early runner but needs stamina to close the deal!

Empower , at 6/1, by Distorted Humor, won a 1-mile $56k Mdn at Aqueduct last out run in 1:40.1 by 1 1/2 length. Just 2 lifetime starts here so the pp’s really don’t help us here but he don’t have any poly experience either!

Harry’s Holiday , at 8/1, by Harlan’s Holiday, is a last out winner of the 96ROCK Stakes here at Turfway, going 6 1/2 f’s in 1:16.2 in an 8 lengths victory. He was 5th 2 back in the $100k Pasco Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs but was well off the winner that day! Sits off the early pace sometimes and sometimes doesn’t.

General Jack , at 10/1, by Giant’s Causeway, whose last out was a distant finish in the GI Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last fall was on the early lead there but faded badly to 10th at the end back 12 lengths. Tends to go early but has to prove to us he can go 2-turns and still vie at the end!

Emmett Park , at 12/1, by Bob and John, does the quick turn around here after running in last Saturday’s GII Risen Star, finishing 12th, 20 lengths off the winner was in effect eased. He has the obligatory Mdn and Alw diplomas and you can probably chalk up last Saturday’s Risen Star run as just a workout! This one is a closer type so no early speed here!

Chester’s Park , at 12/1, by Divine Park, is a last out wire to wire winner of a minor Mdn test here at a mile run in 1:38.3 and winning by 12 full lengths. He seems to be getting better with age and this will be a good test for his connections to see what they have here. Might be an early front-runner here!

Kids Rule , at 15/1, by Lemon Drop Kid, came 2nd by a length to Solitary Ranger, in a F/G’s $50k turf 1x Oc last out going a “yielding” mile in 1:39.4. He did close well there just not good enough for the win. Has closed well in all of his 3 starts so we wouldn’t expect to see this one on the early engine here on Saturday!

Red River Rising , at 15/1, by Bellamy Road, won a $55k Mdn at Oaklawn last out at 1 1/16 mile in a sluggish 1:50.4 winning by a neck. In his other 2 mdn starts at Churchill, he lost to Golden Hawk, Coastline and Almost Famous flattering those Mdn races with this win! stalking the pace seems to be his M/O so we’d look for him to be in the early vanguard!

So, this weekend’s Derby Trail action also makes a quick visit to Turfway Park in the $100,000, John Battaglia Memorial Stakes where the poly is always in the running!

PP. Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L Odds
1. Poker Player C Hill 124 W M Catalano 9/2
2. Solitary Ranger F Geroux 124 W M Catalano 5/1
3. Canzoni A Jimenez 118 T A Pletcher 4/1
4. Emmett Park L A Wydick 118 R J Pincins 12/1
5. Red River Rising R A Vazquez 118 K Gorder 15/1
6. Laddie Boy J L Castanon 118 C Peery 6/1
7. Kids Rule D A Sarvis 118 M Stidham 15/1
8. General Jack D Davis 122 M J Maker 10/1
9. Empower J Rose 118 K P McLaughlin 6/1
10. Chester’s Park B Creed 118 C M Godsey 12/1
11. Harry’s Holiday R A Prescott 122 M J Maker 8/1

Picks are – 1,2,3,6 exacta box, with the 8,9 or 11 at the back of a super play!

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