03/17/2010 11:00PM

Round 4 between Golden Country, Flavor


Like basketball teams that have already played each other three times this season, Golden Country and Flavor are quite familiar with one another. Saturday, the consistent horses will meet for a fourth time in less than three months in the feature race at Turfway Park, the March Madness overnight handicap.

Golden Country and Flavor traded decisions in their prior meetings, all coming at Turfway. Golden Country won the Dec. 26 Holiday Cheer, Flavor won the Jan. 23 Forego, and then Golden Country was second while Flavor faltered in the Feb. 13 Dust Commander.

Golden Country, a 5-year-old horse, and Flavor, a 4-year-old gelding, step forth with remarkably similar overall records. Both have had 16 career starts, with Golden Country earning $164,844 and Flavor banking $159,442. Both have proven capable of earning mid-90 Beyer Speed Figures with their best efforts. And both have the kind of tactical speed that should make for another interesting rematch Saturday.

In all, seven older horses are entered in the six-furlong March Madness, which is worth $30,000 to runners eligible to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund but only $13,400 to those that are not. Both Golden Country and Flavor are both eligible.

Tony Farina has the mount on Golden Country, while Rex Stokes III will take the reins aboard Flavor.

There is no regularly scheduled stakes Saturday because earlier this year the Lane's End Stakes and its five accompanying co-features were all bumped back a week to March 27 from their original date.