FLORENCE, Ky., Nov. 30, 2012 – The six-furlong $50,000 Holiday Inaugural Stakes Saturday at Turfway Park drew an overflow crowd of fillies and mares, including three-time Turfway stakes winner Lotta Lovin, multiple stakes winner Dreamin Big, and Queen's Award, who makes her stakes debut on the heels of two impressive races at the Keeneland fall meet.
Three-year-old Lotta Lovin won the Gowell Stakes at two and the Cincinnati Trophy and Valdale early this year at Turfway before finishing off the board in the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. She rebounded to win the Malvern Rose Stakes at Presque Isle, but likely was over her head in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland in her most recent start, finishing off the board. She should appreciate the return to Turfway under Victor Lebron, who was aboard for all three wins here. Mike Maker trains.
Dreamin Big reeled off four straight wins, two of them restricted stakes, before finishing third last out in the Francis Slocum Stakes at Hoosier Park Oct. 27. In 16 career starts, all but one in Indiana, the versatile 4-year-old filly has never finished out of the money, and she compiled that record going short and long on turf, dirt, and off tracks. The Holiday Inaugural will be her first start at Turfway and her first on an all-weather surface. Norberto Arroyo Jr. rides for trainer Michael Lauer. Dreamin Big is one of three carrying high weight of 124 pounds.
Trainer Eduardo Caramori looks to gain blacktype for the 5-year-old Medaglia d’Oro mare Queen's Award, who comes in to the Holiday Inaugural off a daylight optional allowance win and a neck allowance loss at the Keeneland fall meet. She has one start at Turfway, a third-place finish in the fall of her 4-year-old campaign. Marlon St. Julien was aboard for a route win at Indiana Downs and returns for the Saturday assignment.
The Holiday Inaugural field from the rail out: Lotta Lovin (123); Queen's Award (120); Formal Plan (jockey Greta Kunzweiler, 122); Turfway stakes winner Whisked Away (Luis Martinez Jr., 124); Dreamin Big (124); Slim Shady's Lady (Ben Creed, 119); Action Lady (Thomas Pompell, 120); Sally Sally, who finished just four lengths behind Breeders' Cup champ Groupie Doll in the Presque Isle Masters (G2) in September (Perry Ouzts, 120);Rattlin Gypsy (Amanda Tamburello, 120); Credit Crunch (Eddie Zuniga, 120); Yankee Unio (Jon Court, 119); and Turfway stakes winner Lou's Angel (Rodney Prescott, 124). Anna Sophi and Halloween Party await on the also-eligible list.
The 27th running of the Holiday Inaugural is the 10th race on Saturday's 11-race card. First post is 1:10 p.m.