03/23/2008 11:00PM

Adriano wins Lane's End under wraps


FLORENCE, Ky. - Adriano, heretofore a turf specialist, was an easy winner Saturday in the 37th running of the Grade 2, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes at Turfway Park.

With Edgar Prado riding for breeder-owner Courtlandt Farms and trainer Graham Motion, Adriano was fourth early, then made his winning move entering the far turn of the 1 1/8-mile race. He returned $11.60 as third choice after prevailing by an eased-up 2 1/2 lengths for his third win from seven career starts.

Halo Najib, the 3-1 favorite, finished second, three-quarters of a length before Medjool in third. Racecar Rhapsody was another three-quarters of a length back in fourth in a field of 11 3-year-olds.

Adriano, by A.P. Indy, had raced primarily on turf. His last race resulted in a poor effort on dirt in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream, and the Lane's End marked his second start on a synthetic track. Motion said before the race that he seriously doubted he would consider Adriano for the May 3 Kentucky Derby because of the weak Fountain of Youth performance.

Motion was on hand to saddle Adriano but had a flight to catch at the nearby Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and did not even join the winner's circle ceremony.

Before an ontrack crowd of 18,680, Duke of de Buqe and 99-1 shot Rich Young Ruler opened up early, but the others began catching up midway down the backstretch. Adriano, always in the clear, pounced first, and he steadily pulled clear and was not threatened thereafter.

The winning time for was 1:50.20 over Polytrack.

Adriano had raced in stakes company three previous times, with a fourth in the Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland last fall being his best finish. The colt was raised at Lane's End, according to Donald Adam, the owner of Courtlandt. Adam said he would leave the decision regarding whether to pursue the Derby to Motion.

After Racecar Rhapsody, the order of finish was Chitoz, Cannonball, Macho Again, Turf War, El Aleman, Rich Young Ruler, and Duke of de Buque. Halo's King was an early scratch.

A 12-race program was conducted amid unseasonable cold, with high temperatures hovering around 40 and wind chills considerably lower.

All-sources handle was $9,805,862, up about $300,000 over last year, according to track officials.

Rushaway: Big Glen gets up

Big Glen ($8.40) wore down front-runner Miner's Claim in a furious stretch drive to win his second stakes of the Turfway winter-spring meet, the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes.

With Rene Douglas aboard for trainer Frank Brothers, Big Glen angled to the rail for the drive, then was under heavy pressure to inch away and prevail by a neck over a game Miner's Claim, the 9-5 favorite. Icabad Crane, who, like Miner's Claim, entered the Rushaway with two wins from as many career starts, finished another three lengths back in third in a field of nine 3-year-olds.

Miner's Claim, with Patrick Husbands aboard, led at the start of the 1 1/16-mile race, with 40-1 shot Cape of Storms dogging him from the outside. Turning for home, those two were still close, while Big Glen went to the rail to launch his winning drive.

Big Glen, a Cactus Ridge colt, is owned by John T.L. Jones Jr. and Bill Jones. He was timed in 1:44.55. Brothers has said he does not consider the colt a serious Kentucky Derby candidate. The April 19 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland is a logical next spot.

Big Glen won the WEBN Stakes at Turfway on Feb. 2, then was a distant fourth in the next race in the Turfway winter series, the John Battaglia Memorial on March 1.

Bourbonette: Maren's Meadow wins

Veteran trainer Larry Jones enjoyed an unforgettable Lane's End Day last year when saddling Hard Spun to win the race. This year, Jones and his familiar cowboy hat were back for more when Maren's Meadow ($17.60), making her Polytrack debut, held off a sustained stretch bid by Valentine Fever to capture the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbonette Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths.

Owned by River Ridge Ranch and ridden by Gabriel Saez, Maren's Meadow got an excellent trip from just off the pace in the one-mile Bourbonette. Leaving the far turn, as early leader Love Buzz began to fade, Maren's Meadow took over and was able to turn back Valentine Fever in the final furlong.

"She ran beautifully," said Saez.

Maren's Meadow, an Ontario-bred by Meadowlake, finished in 1:38.15 for her third win from eight starts. She was coming off a runner-up finish behind Sky Mom in the Feb. 17 Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

A to the Croft, the 6-5 favorite, rallied mildly up the rail to finish third, another 1 1/2 lengths back in a field of eight 3-year-old fillies.

Jones, who already has leading contenders for the Kentucky Oaks in Proud Spell and Eight Belles, said the Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico is a long-range goal for Maren's Meadow.

Hansel: Mitigation draws away

Mitigation ($9.20) overtook two pacesetters and steadily drew off under Orlando Mojica in a surprisingly easy victory over six other 3-year-olds in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes.

Owned by the Jay Em Ess Stable and trained by Paul McGee, Mitigation had not raced since posting a second straight victory in a Jan. 26 allowance at Turfway.

"I'd missed quite a bit of training time with him," because of weather, said McGee. "But obviously he was ready to go. He's 3 for 3 since having been gelded and the addition of blinkers."

U.S. Cavalry finished 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner in second and a head before Stormin Yank, the 2-1 favorite.

Mitigation, by Cherokee Run, finished six furlongs in 1:10.03.

Queen: Pola's Place doubles up

Pola's Place ($15.60), ridden by Tommy Pompell, ran a second straight huge race over the Turfway Polytrack when leading gate to wire to win the day's leadoff stakes, the $50,000 Queen Stakes, by three-quarters of a length over Victorianna.

Coming off an equally impressive allowance score, Pola's Place ran the six furlongs in 1:10.37. The 5-year-old mare is owned by John O'Meara and trained by David Pate.