12/22/2010 1:21PM

Golden Phoenix can end Peery's stakes drought in Gowell


The latest incarnation in the stop-and-start training career of Chuck Peery began in the spring of 2009 in Kentucky, some time after he resettled on the 23-acre farm in Versailles, Ky., that he bought with his wife, Tracy. Originally from the state of Washington, Peery enjoyed his best years in Northern California before relocating.

Peery, 52, has made a gradual impact on the Kentucky circuit, and as 2010 nears its end, his horses have won 19 races and nearly $440,000 in purses this year. But even with useful runners such as Shore Do and Celtic New Year in his stable, Peery has not won a stakes in more than seven years stakes victories have been eluding Peery, whose last success in that category came more than seven years ago.

That might change at Turfway Park on Sunday, when Peery sends out Golden Phoenix as part of an overflow field of 2-year-old fillies in the 26th running of the $50,000 Gowell Stakes. Golden Phoenix is a three-time winner in a six-furlong race that lacks a black-type filly, and with a convincing recent score over the Polytrack surface at Turfway under her belt, she could take some beating in what is shaping up as a well-matched renewal.

Marcelino Pedroza, the 17-year-old apprentice who leads the jockey standings entering the final stretch of the Turfway holiday meet, will ride Golden Phoenix from post 4. Fourteen fillies were entered, although only as many as 12 can start.

Other Gowell possibilities include a New York shipper, Miss Sarah Brown; the uncoupled Eric Reed duo of Martha’s Shadow and Mai Tai Mama; Rein in Avaricity, a sharp winner of her only career start; and Musical Prodigy, a three-length maiden winner at Turfway earlier this month.

The Gowell is the ninth race on a 10-race program, which also includes two $22,000 allowance sprints that will go as the sixth and eighth races.

Two $22,000 allowance sprints (races 6 and 8) precede the Gowell (race 9) on the 10-race program.The Sunday card marks the first at Turfway since Dec. 19 and begins eight straight days of racing. First post through next Sunday, Jan. 2, will be 1:10 p.m. Eastern, with the exception of Friday, New Year’s Eve, when it will be 5:30 p.m. Turfway is planning special activities for the New Year’s Eve program.