03/16/2007 12:00AM

Lane's End looking full up


Racing officials at Turfway Park are expecting a full field for their signature event, the Lane's End Stakes, the Grade 2 race set for next Saturday at the Florence, Ky., track.

Hard Spun, the once-beaten colt who arrived at Turfway last Sunday from Oaklawn Park, looks like the probable favorite in the $500,000 Lane's End. A winner of four races to open his career, Hard Spun finished fourth at Oaklawn Park in the Feb. 19 Southwest Stakes, and trainer Larry Jones subsequently said he was not satisfied with how the colt was handling the Oaklawn surface, leading to his decision to ship him to Turfway.

Aside from Hard Spun, the lengthy list of prospects for the 1 1/8-mile Lane's End includes the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Bullara, a recent eight-length allowance winner at Gulfstream, and Twilight Meteor, a two-time stakes winner on turf; Chelokee, a game allowance winner on the March 3 Fountain of Youth undercard at Gulfstream for trainer Michael Matz; Catman Running, winner of the March 3 John Battaglia Memorial at Turfway; and Joe Got Even, second as the favorite in the Battaglia.

Other possibles are Approval Rating, fourth in the Battaglia; Brainy Benny, a Bill Mott-trained colt who raced three times on Polytrack in England; For You Reppo, a Helen Pitts-trained colt who was second to Chelokee in the March 3 allowance; Helios, a Paraneck Stable colt based in New York; Love Dubai, who recently was acquired by Equirace.com and Mike Maker, the same owner-trainer team that won the Lane's End last year with With a City; Sedgefield, runner-up to Twilight Meteor in the Feb. 24 Hallandale Beach on the Gulfstream turf; Sports Town, third in the Feb. 10 Whirlaway at Aqueduct for trainer John Terranova; and Starbase, seventh at 34-1 in the Southwest for D. Wayne Lukas.

Only 12 horses can start in the Lane's End. Last year, a minor controversy ensued when 14 horses were entered and the likely favorite, Strong Contender, was excluded because of a lack of earnings.

The Lane's End will be televised live on ESPN. Four other stakes will be run on the undercard, led by the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race also for 3-year-olds. The other secondary features are the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders' Cup Stakes, the $50,000 Queen Stakes, and the $50,000 Hansel Stakes.

The Rushaway is under consideration as an alternative race for several Lane's End prospects, including Joe Got Even, according to trainer Phil Sims.