03/15/2015 6:12PM

Spiral Stakes draws 15, but only 12 can start

Benoit & Associates
Conquest Typhoon, winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Stakes, is among the contenders for Saturday's Spiral Stakes.

A group of 15 3-year-olds were entered Sunday for Saturday’s Grade 3, $550,000 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, resulting in three exclusions due to the track’s 12-horse starting-gate limit, and Turfway not having an also-eligible list for its signature race.

Although entries closed Sunday, Spiral post positions will not be drawn until approximately 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, when a draw luncheon is hosted at the Horseshoe Casino of Cincinnati, which sponsors the Spiral.

Caesars Entertainment, with Horseshoe Casino being one of its entities, is part owner in Turfway Park.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

Post positions for the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks, the sister race to the Spiral, will also be drawn during that luncheon. That race, which also drew an overflow field, has 12 in the body of the race, and two also eligibles – a noticeable contrast to the Spiral.

With riders, the 12 that made the Spiral, a 1 1/8-mile race on Polytrack, are Another Lemon Drop, Calvin Borel; Big Family, Albin Jimenez; Conquest Typhoon, Mike Smith; Dubai Sky, Jose Lezcano; Firespike, Miguel Mena; Imperia, Joel Rosario; Magic Of Believing, Shane Laviolette; Metaboss, Alex Solis; Royal Son, Rodney Prescott; Task Force Glory, Rafael Hernandez; Watchyourownbobber, Rajiv Maragh; and Wireless Future, Florent Geroux.

Excluded were Pepper Roani, Saham, and Milwaukee Mist.

Although most tracks will run up to 14 horses in stakes races, up from 12 for overnight races, Turfway restricts its stakes to 12 due to one of its starting gates being unable to accommodate more than 12 runners, racing secretary Tyler Picklesimer said.

It is standard practice for tracks to have two gates as an emergency measure in case one malfunctions.

As to why the Bourbonette accommodates also-eligibles but the Spiral does not, Picklesimer said is due to the longstanding race conditions of the Spiral. “We’ll probably look at changing it next year,” he said.

With preference in the Spiral to graded stakes winners, then stakes winners, and then to horses with the most earnings – the most accomplished horses that entered the Spiral were never in danger of being excluded.

Metaboss and Conquest Typhoon, first and third, respectively, in the Grade 3 El Camino Real at Golden Gate on Feb. 14, are two of the race headliners, along with Imperia, last year’s Grade 3 Pilgrim winner, and John Battaglia winner Royal Son.

The Bourbonette, a $150,000, Grade 3 race at a mile, is led by Sharla Rae, a two-time stakes winner on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Golden Gate.

The Spiral and Bourbonette offer respective qualifying points toward the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks.



Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
disssapointed imiperia will not run. i would like to have seen how he would have handled the synthetic,since he is in my estimation the best 3yr old on grass in the country. he should have won the bc juv turf,he got a horrible ride from Javier,and i thought he would stay on the turf but i guess the owners got derby fever,godolphin. mark my words this horse will win many graded grass races if they keep him there. but synthetic might have suited him well at turfway against a sub g3 field
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will they also limit Metaboss's owners in the winners circle?
Stacy More than 1 year ago
John More than 1 year ago
Six races Saturday are $ 5K claimers. Kentucky racing is officially worse than Indiana now.
TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
My official pick for this race is Dubai Sky, a sibling to Twirling Candy!
TRacingLifeMore More than 1 year ago
Interesting that Mike Smith sticks with Conquest Typhoon after riding Imperia. He must have seen something in Imperia he didn't like.
Walter More than 1 year ago
Historically, this race was a prelude to another Derby prep. Horses would run this race then would enter the AR Derby, Bluegrass, Lexington, or somewhere else. Now the way it's scheduled, it's impossible for a horse to run here and again before the Derby.
William Pietschman More than 1 year ago
lol..looks like an imperia , conquest typhoon, REMATCH with dubai and another lemon drop the runners...and perhaps royal son will round out the top five for the super etc...if they draw in...
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
In races that start on the stretch, Turfway parks the starting gate in a position where you can't see the horses from just before the top of the stretch until the 8th pole. Also the track is so soft that you can't even hear the horses run past you.
Marc Estrich More than 1 year ago
Well at least Mr. Picklesimer informed us of the logical decision on AEs re: Bourbonette And Spiral. "...longstanding race conditions of The Spiral". Did this rule also apply to the Jim Beam Stakes??? I can see the bookkeeping nightmare with TWO races with AEs!!