01/01/2011 6:50PM

Patience pays off at Turfway for Creed, Western Prospector

Jason Stewart/Patrick Lang Photography
Western Prospector, ridden by Ben Creed, wins his stakes debut in the Holiday Cheer.

The sharp form and early speed of Western Prospector contributed to him being made the second favorite in Saturday’s $50,000 Holiday Cheer Stakes at Turfway Park. But it was the patience of his rider, Ben Creed, that likely resulted in Western Prospector winning the race.

Although most of Western Prospector’s better races had come on the lead, Creed wisely sat chilly on Western Prospector in the early stages of the six-furlong Holiday Cheer, allowing longshot Silver Summation to go to the front and avoiding a speed duel.

Sitting about 1 1/2 lengths off the leader, Creed rode Western Prospector with confidence, even after the horse briefly fell back into fourth and was carried wide by Silver Summation on the turn.

Once in the stretch, soon after making the lead with a half-mile in 46.38 seconds, Western Prospector displayed his superiority. He pulled clear under mild urging, registering a 1 1/4-length  win over River Bear, who had rallied to contend from just off the pace. The 3-2 favorite Tend, wide throughout, rallied belatedly for third, a head behind the runner-up.

Western Prospector, a 5-year-old son of West Acre owned by Chalee Inc. and trained by Randy Matthews, recorded his first stakes victory in the Holiday Cheer. He raced six furlongs on Polytrack in 1:10.58 and paid $7.80.