01/28/2010 12:00AM

Fish has as good a shot as any in WEBN


The $50,000 WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park is supposed to be a stepping-stone to more important 3-year-old races. But can anyone imagine a colt named Fish making it much further along the Kentucky Derby trail and - heaven forbid - having his name placed alongside those of immortals such as Secretariat and Seattle Slew?

"Well, we're going to ride the trail as long as we can," said a chuckling Phil Sims, who trains Fish for owner-breeder Freddy Lewis Jr. "I've asked Mr. Lewis about how the colt got his name, and I'm not sure I ever got a straight answer. Not that it matters, because I don't think the horse knows his name anyway."

For the time being, what matters to horseplayers is whether Fish is good enough to prevail in a packed field in the 28th running of the WEBN, a one-mile Polytrack race set for Saturday at Turfway in Florence, Ky. Fish, with Rex Stokes to ride, looks as good as any in a toss-up kind of field, one that drew two minor stakes winners and a bunch with only maiden victories to their credit.

Fish, by Yonaguska, most recently was second in the 6 1/2-furlong Turfway Prevue, and Sims is optimistic the colt will effectively stretch out.

"He trains like the mile won't bother him," said Sims. "He acts like he'll do it."

Other logical contenders include Lucky Chuck, fourth as the 6-5 favorite in the Jan. 2 Turfway Prevue, and Kera's Kitten, winner of an October turf stakes at Retama Park for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Mike Maker. Thirteen are entered, but only as many as 12 can start.

The WEBN is the second of four 3-year-old preps at the Turfway winter-spring meet. The Turfway Prevue was won by 4 1/4 lengths by Z.I. Zipp, who was injured during that win and "has been sidelined for a while," according to trainer Bill Connelly.

Three-year-old races still to come this winter at Turfway are the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial on Feb. 27, and the meet showcase, the Grade 2, $500,000 Lane's End Stakes, on March 27.

The WEBN is named for a Cincinnati radio station formerly known as "The Frog." It goes as the 11th of 12 Saturday races.