Updated on 09/17/2011 9:40AM

Speed vs. experience in Prevue


The popular belief that there are few talented 3-year-olds during the winter at Turfway Park might have held true in some years, but not in 2003. Great Notion, a speedy 3-year-old colt who is unbeaten in two starts, headlines Saturday's $50,000 Turfway Prevue.

Great Notion, a 3-year-old son of Elusive Quality, has shown high speed and much heart. Dismissed at 26-1 in his debut at Churchill Downs on Nov. 30, he set a pressured pace and gamely turned aside two challenges to win by a nose. He raced six furlongs in 1:09.94.

In a Turfway Park allowance race on Dec. 21, he whipped multiple winners by 8 1/2 lengths, again going wire to wire. He completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.05, the fastest time for the distance on the card.

His quick times have generated high Beyer Speed Figures. His first race earned him a 95 Beyer, his second race a 98. None of his seven opponents have earned higher than an 89. Tony D'Amico rides for trainer Darrin Miller.

If Great Notion has a weakness, it is his inexperience. He has raced just two times and has never been tested in a stakes race.

By contrast, Champali is a proven stakes performer. He won the first three races of his career - including the Grade 3 Iroquois at Churchill Downs - before tiring to fifth when racing around two turns for the first time in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club.

Going 6 1/2 furlongs in the Turfway Prevue, Champali should finish more effectively. Trainer Greg Foley has named James Lopez to ride.

None of the six other entrants appear on the level of Great Notion and Champali. The stakes-placed Mr. Whitestone appears best of this group of outsiders, having run second to Great Notion in an allowance race on Dec. 21. The field is completed by Faxer Than You, Chicken Soup Kid, K K Avey, Casino Red, and Miner Moss.

Post time for the Turfway Prevue, the ninth race, is 4:48 p.m. Eastern.

* Strong support at the Turfway Park entry box, which contributed to the track averaging approximately 10 starters a race during the holiday meet, has waned over the first few days of 2003.

Saturday's 12-race card has just one full field, and six of the races were carded with eight or fewer horses, including the Turfway Prevue.

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