Updated on 09/17/2011 10:07AM

Local stakes sweep for Champali?

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Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Lion Tamer returns to the Gulfstream winner's circle following his victory in the Hutcheson.

Lion Tamer and Champali are the most accomplished 3-year-olds likely to run in Turfway Park's signature race, the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes on Saturday.

Lion Tamer, the colt Michael Tabor bought earlier this year from Peachtree Stable, is one of as many as 10 horses that could run in the Lane's End, a Grade 2 race at 1 1/8 miles. In his last start, Lion Tamer impressively won the seven-furlong Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park for trainer Todd Pletcher. Two years ago, Pletcher sent out Balto Star to a record-setting 12 3/4-length victory in the Lane's End, then known as the Spiral Stakes.

Lion Tamer is expected to arrive Thursday at Turfway following a flight from south Florida. In his final sharpener for the Lane's End, Lion Tamer worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:00 at the Palm Meadows training center in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Champali, a Glitterman colt who has won 6 of 7 career starts for Lloyd Madison Farms, will be trying to become the first horse ever to sweep all four of Turfway's early-season stakes races for 3-year-olds - the Turfway Prevue, the WEBN-Frog Stakes, the John Battaglia Memorial, and the Lane's End. Champali, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Greg Foley, will ship to Turfway the morning of the race.

The probable third betting choice in the Lane's End is Saintly Look, winner of the Lecomte at Fair Grounds in late January. Trained by Dallas Stewart, Saintly Look will be trying to rebound following a disappointing effort in the Risen Star in his last start.

The likely fourth choice is Eugene's Third Son, a lightly raced colt trained by Pat Byrne. Eugene's Third Son was an impressive winner of an entry-level allowance route at Gulfstream in his most recent start.

The rest of the prospective field is: New York Hero, scratched from the Gotham Sunday; Lots of Sizzle, trained by Dallas Keen; the locally based Honeagle; and a runner from trainer D. Wayne Lukas, quite possibly Ozzie Cat.

At least two other locally based horses - Chicken Soup Kid and Wendlar - will run in either the Lane's End or the $100,000 Rushaway Stakes, one of the secondary features Saturday. Entries for the Lane's End are to be drawn Thursday at a press breakfast at the track.

The Lane's End, which typically produces a starter or two for the Kentucky Derby, is the annual highlight of the long winter-spring meet at Turfway in Florence, Ky. Both the Lane's End and Rushaway will be televised live on ESPN2 on a one-hour show that begins at 4 p.m. Eastern. Post time for the Lane's End will be about 4:40.

The Lane's End is one of five stakes races to be run Saturday. Besides the Rushaway, the others are the $150,000 Bourbonette Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies, the $50,000 Queen for filly-mare sprinters, and the Hansel for 3-year-old sprinters.

The Lane's End has been known by a variety of names since its 1972 inception. Last year, when Lane's End, the prominent central Kentucky breeding farm, assumed sponsorship of the race, it was known as the Lane's End Spiral. This year, "Spiral" has been dropped.

Admission for the 12-race Saturday card has been raised to $10. First post is noon Eastern.

Turfway will give away Steve Cauthen bobblehead dolls with the first 7,000 paid admissions Saturday. Cauthen, who has served as a Turfway spokesman since shortly after retiring from his Hall of Fame riding career in 1991, rode Affirmed to the last Triple Crown sweep 25 years ago.

Reserved seats are still available by calling (859) 647-4711.