01/23/2009 12:00AM

England packs it in after years as track fixture


David England has quietly slipped out of the racing business. A longtime Turfway Park regular who sold his lawn and landscaping business several years ago to focus on horses, England saddled his last starter when Laura's Jinsky finished second in a maiden-claiming race on Dec. 20 at the Florence, Ky., track.

England, 52, came onto the Turfway scene in 1995, owning horses trained by Wayne Bearden. In 1998, he tied for the most wins by an owner at Kentucky tracks with 49. After a while, however, England wanted to be more involved, and in 2003 he opened his own stable, carrying up to 20 horses, owning many of them in partnerships.

England said he was getting out of the business for several reasons, including the current purse structure at Turfway and other considerations. England and his wife, former jockey Mary Adkins, live on a farm with their family in Union, Ky., just a few miles from Turfway.

"It's really difficult to make a living right now in the Thoroughbred business in the state of Kentucky," said England. "I'd love to get back in someday, but things will have to change."

For his training career, England won 108 races from 861 starters, for stable earnings of $1,081,674.

Brass Hat ready for return

Brass Hat is gearing up for an 8-year-old campaign that will start with the Feb. 14 Dust Commander Stakes at Turfway, trainer Buff Bradley said this week.

Brass Hat, who has earned nearly $1.8 million, has been sidelined since finishing fifth behind Curlin in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap last June at Churchill Downs.

"In his first work after the Foster, he came up with a little filling in a suspensory," said Bradley. "Not a tear or a hole, just a little heat. They told us to give him a few weeks off, but as good as he's been to us, I gave him three months. He came back to the track around the first of December, and has been doing great ever since."

Brass Hat was scheduled to breeze Saturday at Turfway, which would be the gelding's fifth workout since returning from his latest layoff. The $50,000 Dust Commander will be run at one mile.

"It looks like the right place to start," said Bradley.

White horse in winner's circle

The two-length victory by Patchen Prince in the ninth race Jan. 18 at Turfway was notable for one primary reason: the 4-year-old colt carries the rare color designation of "white" on his foal papers with The Jockey Club.

Patchen Prince, bred and owned by the Patchen Wilkes Farm of Warren Rosenthal, is out of Patchen Beauty, who also was white. In turn, Patchen Beauty had been produced by the white mare, Precious Beauty.

Patchen Prince, by Pioneering, is based at Turfway with trainer Bill Connelly. He is the third foal from Patchen Beauty to have raced, and all won one time. Patchen Beauty went 2 for 23 in her career and was the only winner produced by Precious Beauty, who died in 2004.

Patchen Prince, who was victorious in his seventh start, is being pointed to an allowance race at Turfway. His triumph came in maiden special-weight company at a mile and earned him a 76 Beyer Speed Figure.

Lebron vaults to front

Victor Lebron has taken firm control of the jockeys' race at Turfway with a recent rash of winners. Lebron, who made a brief venture into New York in December, rode four winners here Wednesday and two more Thursday, giving him 28 victories since the winter-spring meet began Jan. 1.

Into Friday night action, there was a logjam for second behind Lebron in the standings. Orlando Mojica had 15 wins, followed by Leandro Goncalves (14), Tommy Pompell (13), Otto Thorwarth (12), and Bill Troilo (11).

* To make up in part for cancelling their Jan. 15 and 16 programs, Turfway officials have announced they will card 12 races every Friday night through the end of the meet. The recent cancellations were due to extreme cold.

* First post next Sunday, Feb. 1, has been set for noon Eastern so as to accommodate the Super Bowl telecast.