Updated on 09/16/2011 8:56AM

Bidis adds a bit of class to Cheer


Some of the better Kentucky horses have gone south for the winter to Florida, others to Louisiana. But a few of those who will head to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas continue to stick around Kentucky.

That makes a race like Wednesday's $50,000 Holiday Cheer at Turfway Park stronger than it would be if it were contested in February. The Holiday Cheer has attracted Bidis, an Oaklawn stakes-quality sprinter.

Bidis, a 6-year-old son of Gold Spring trained by Jesse Wiggington, had a useful winter and spring at Oaklawn last year, hitting the board in all three of his races there. In his best races, he managed a third in the King Cotton Stakes and another close third in a fast money allowance. Both performances earned him triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures.

Despite running quickly early in the year, it wasn't until November that he scored his first win of 2002. Racing at Churchill Downs in a $53,450 allowance, he scored a front-running, 1 1/2-length victory over graded stakes winner Bright Valour.

Although that win came on the lead, Bidis has traditionally stalked the pace. He seems likely to revert to an off-the-pace style in the Holiday Cheer because of the presence of the one-dimensional speedball Ultimate Warrior. James Lopez rides.

Ultimate Warrior is the target for all the Holiday Cheer runners. Competing at six furlongs - a distance at which he has won 7 of 18 races - he appears primed for a top performance.

Ultimate Warrior last raced Dec. 15 at Turfway, but after nearly two months away from the races, he grew weary over a muddy track and faded to fourth. The one-two finishers from that race, Still Be Smokin' and Slider, return in the Holiday Cheer.

Ulimate Warrior is difficult for any horse to run down when he is on his game. He blazes to the lead, breaks the hearts of his opponents with fast fractions, and keeps going to the wire. He utilized that style to win three consecutive races in the fall. Trainer Bernie Flint has named Rodney Prescott to ride. He has also entered Alydelta.

Another competitive entry comes from the Joe Woodward barn. Woodward starts Dayton Flyer and Slider for owner Billy Hays, both of whom are graded stakes placed. Dayton Flyer was second in the Grade 3 Westchester Handicap at Belmont in May, and Slider finished second to Bonapaw in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap at Arlington Park in July. Marlon St. Julien has been named aboard both halves of the Woodward entry.

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