12/01/2008 1:00AM

Afleet Angel carries Martinez to victory


Willie Martinez enjoyed a successful homecoming at his old stomping grounds when guiding Afleet Angel, the lone supplementary nomination in the field, to a 1 3/4-length upset in the $50,000 Holiday Inaugural as Turfway Park opened its holiday meet Sunday in Florence, Ky.

Martinez, a nine-time leading jockey at Turfway, kept Afleet Angel well off the pace in the six-furlong race before the mare swung wide and finished with a flourish. Vote Early, making her career finale, finished second, another three lengths before the pacesetting Simply Seattle in a field of 12 fillies and mares. Tequilas Dayjur, the 2-1 favorite, finished last.

Afleet Angel, owned by Lori Rice and based at Mountaineer Park with trainer Paula Bacon, returned $22.40 after finishing in 1:11.94 on Polytrack.

Afleet Angel, by Northern Afleet, was supplemented for $2,500.

Martinez had not ridden since the Presque Isle Downs meet ended in late September.