03/20/2009 11:00PM

Rushaway bit of stretch for Fitzaslew


The last time Fitzaslew was entered at Turfway Park - in the Feb. 28 John Battaglia Memorial - the colt had to be treated for colic after a long van ride from Florida to Kentucky and was scratched by trainer Ken McPeek.

Entered back in Saturday's $100,000 Rushaway Stakes on the Lane's End undercard at Turfway Park, Fitzaslew figures to get a much smoother trip. This time he needs only to make a short ride of just over an hour from his Keeneland base in Lexington to Florence, where Turfway is located.

How he performs going a route on Polytrack is an uncertainty, however. Fitzaslew has run his best races in dirt sprints to this early point in his career, in contrast to his chief opponents - Ziegfeld, Cliffy's Future, and No Inflation - who are proven routers.

Fitzaslew also faded in his one attempt at 1 1/16 miles - the distance of the Rushaway - weakening to sixth in the Cradle Stakes on turf last summer at River Downs.

McPeek said that race was not representative of his ability.

"He chipped an ankle in the Cradle," McPeek said.

Although Fitzaslew is undoubtedly speedy - running a Beyer Speed Figure of 89 last time out in finishing second in a six-furlong allowance at Gulfstream Park Jan. 30 - McPeek has opted to run him long in a synthetic-track stakes race to test him.

"If he's going be a distance horse, he needs to handle this kind of a race," he said.

To win the Rushaway, Fitzaslew will likely have to contain the rally of No Inflation, who won his lone start over Polytrack last fall in a Keeneland maiden race by closing from last.

A 3-year-old son of Repriced trained by Tom Proctor, No Inflation comes off a 4 1/4-length romp over first-level allowance horses on turf at Tampa Feb. 20 in his 2009 debut and first race without blinkers.