01/14/2011 3:45PM

Inhisglory's departure leaves thin division at Turfway

Jason Stewart/Lang Photography
Inhisglory (right) outduels Banjammer to win by a nose in the Turfway Prevue.

A relatively unaccomplished 3-year-old division at Turfway this winter became thinner this week, when Turfway Prevue winner Inhisglory was shipped to New Orleans to join the Fair Grounds barn of trainer Mike Stidham.

Stidham is one of two principal trainers for owner Peter Redekop, who purchased Inhisglory shortly before the horse won the Turfway Prevue on Jan. 8.

Wayne Mogge trained Inhisglory to win the Prevue and had owned him in partnership before the sale.

“It was nice for Mr. Redekop to buy one and have it win a couple days later,” Stidham said Friday from Fair Grounds. “Now we’ve got him here, but I haven’t even had him on the track. So we’ll get to know him and start mapping up a plan.”

Inhisglory, a 3-year-old gelded son of Pure Prize, has race exclusively in sprints and on synthetic tracks over his four-race career, winning three times. He earned a 69 Beyer Speed Figure in the Prevue, down from a career-best 78 he posted in winning an allowance at Turfway on Dec. 26.

His departure from Turfway leaves Banjammer and Bluegrass Dreamer – the second- and third-place finishers from the Turfway Prevue – as the leading prospects for the next 3-year-old stake for males at Turfway, the $50,000 WEBN Stakes at a mile Feb. 5.

Prescott posts a hat trick

Veteran rider Rodney Prescott, who rode Inhisglory to two wins at Turfway this winter, won three races Thursday at Turfway to tighten the race in the jockey standings.

Prescott’s big evening left him with seven winners heading into Friday, one less than Ben Creed and John McKee, who each have won eight races since the winter-spring meet began Jan. 1.

Jozbin Santana also has seven winners.

Prescott’s success this month at Turfway follows a successful holiday meet in December in which he was the second-leading rider behind apprentice Marcelino Pedroza.

Meanwhile, trainer Bill Connelly – red-hot at Turfway since the start of the year – sits atop the trainer standings, having gone 6 for 11. The most recent of those six winners was Doublefour, who took a starter allowance in the fourth race at Turfway Thursday.

Eric Reed and holiday meet leader Mike Maker are next with four winners apiece during the winter-spring meet.

Smaller field sizes in January

As usual at Turfway in January, fields have become shorter, as horsemen ready their horses for meets at other tracks, such as Oaklawn Park.

Since the start of the year, fields are averaging 8.7 runners per race, down from the 10.4 starters per race over the Holiday meet.

Last year the winter-spring meet averaged 8.6 starters per race over its entirety.

Starting in February Turfway drops Thursdays from its schedule, racing a three-day week from Friday through Sunday.

Also in February, Turfway will shift from afternoon racing on Saturdays to night racing, with first post at 5:30 p.m. The track’s aim is to mimic its successful Friday night racing by accompanying the change in post time with increased entertainment and promotional activity.

“Our handle on Friday night is significantly higher than on Saturdays,” track president Bob Elliston said. “And it also gives a chance to introduce the sport to new fans.”

Baryshnikov favored in feature

Not sure which is harder: picking the winner of the featured eighth race at Turfway on Sunday, a $24,000 second-level allowance that also carries a $40,000 claiming condition, or describing the probable favorite, Baryshnikov, without using a tacky dancing pun in reference to the famous ballet dancer for whom he is named.

That challenge aside, Baryshnikov holds an edge in recent form in the seven-horse eighth race going a mile on Polytrack after winning a pair of races last month over the Turfway strip.

Although his December wins came against easier competition, with his first victory at Turfway coming against $15,000 nonwinners-of-three claimers and the second against first-level allowance runners, Baryshnikov has shown he can compete against this level of opposition, finishing third in one such race in September at Turfway.

A winner of 4 of his last 16 starts, he starts for the winning trainer-jockey tandem of Maker and Santana.

Heading the opposition are class droppers Your Round, seventh in the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Dec. 18, and Jumpin Charlie, fifth in a third-level allowance at Woodbine on Dec. 2.

Impressive bloodlines in race 7

Sunday’s seventh race at Turfway is typical of a $20,000 maiden race for fillies and mares in the middle of winter, filled with slow runners who have repeatedly failed to win. For at least a couple of the fillies in the race, though, their futures remain bright, albeit for breeding more so than for racing.

Hill, a 4-year-old daughter of El Prado owned and bred by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, is related to three graded stakes winners, most notably full brother Grassy, winner of the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap last year.

And Talkin and Singing is a half-sister to none other than $4 million earner Better Talk Now, who won the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Turf, among other Grade 1 races. A 4-year-old Songandaprayer filly, she is owned by Gary and Sandy Priest, who bred her in partnership.