03/21/2015 8:40PM

Dubai Sky handles surface switch to win Spiral Stakes

Coady Photography
Dubai Sky wins the Spiral Stakes by 2 1/4 lengths Saturday at Turfway Park.

FLORENCE, Ky. – Continuing a recent trend of Florida invaders dominating the Spiral Stakes, Dubai Sky transferred his top grass form from Gulfstream Park to synthetic to take Saturday’s Grade 3, $535,750 Spiral at Turfway Park over the track’s Polytrack strip.

A Kentucky Derby qualifying prep race with 85 points awarded among the top four finishers, including 50 to the winner, assures Dubai Sky a starting position in the Kentucky Derby if his connections pursue the race with him.

A horse that had raced exclusively on turf prior to Saturday’s victory, he was not initially nominated to the Triple Crown – though on the heels of the Spiral, that could change.

His owners, Three Chimneys Farm and Besilu Stables, have until Monday to make him a $6,000 late nominee to the Triple Crown, and while trainer Bill Mott was not in attendance at Turfway to discuss the winner’s plans, a late nomination seems possible, if not probable.

Regardless of Dubai Sky’s ability to handle dirt and his status as a potential Kentucky Derby participant, he proved in the Spiral he is a very good synthetic horse.

Despite a wide trip that kept him in the four path, pressing with the other frontrunners down the backstretch, he drew away with authority to win the Spiral by 2 1/4 lengths under Jose Lezcano. A son of Candy Ride, racing on Lasix for the first time, he completed 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.26, paying $16.80.

Conquest Typhoon, under Mike Smith, rallied from midpack to grab second, though he flattened out somewhat late, lasting by a neck over the third-place Firespike.

Lezcano, who went 3 for 3 on the day at Turfway, including another graded win in the Bourbonette, said he was pleased with Dubai Sky’s early position.

His horse was moving comfortably behind contested fractions of 47.57 seconds and 1:12.09 set by Wireless Future and began to advance on his own.

“He took me to the quarter pole, and I saw Mike Smith behind me, and I said, ‘It’s time to go,’ ” he said.

The 70-1 longshot Task Force Glory ended up two lengths farther behind Firespike in fourth, followed by the 5-2 second choice Royal Son in fifth and the favored Metaboss in sixth.

Wireless Future, Another Lemon Drop, Magic of Believing, Big Family, and Watchyourownbobber completed the order of finish.

Smith on Conquest Typhoon offered no excuse, saying he had a clean trip and was second best.

“I thought my horse ran dynamite,” he said. “I’m really proud of him.”

The latter horse, who earned 20 points for the victory – putting him on the fringe of making a race like the Derby if entered in an oversubscribed field – will be taken to Churchill Downs, but his trainer, Mark Casse, said that a race like the Pat Day Mile on Derby Day might become his next target. That horse’s long-term goal is the Queen’s Plate at Woodbine.

Chris Baker, chief operating officer for Three Chimneys Farm, suggested the Derby would at least be considered for Dubai Sky.

“It would be hard at this time of year, off this win, getting 50 points, not to at least think about [the Derby],” he said.

In which case, a $6,000 late Triple Crown nomination may soon be made.