01/29/2011 7:15PM

Tend brightens owners' year with victory in Forego

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Patrick Lang/Lang Photography
Tend takes the Forego at Turfway Park on Saturday.

The Hays family of Louisville won more races than all owners in North America in 2010 except for Midwest Thoroughbreds, although the first month of 2011 hadn’t been all that memorable, at least not at Turfway Park. That is, until Tend ran off to a 1 3/4-length victory Saturday in the 28th running of the $50,000 Forego Stakes at Turfway in Florence, Ky.

With Perry Ouzts wearing the Hayses’ familiar black and green, Tend loomed boldly through the turn of the 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack race before drawing clear to prevail over Cool Bullet, a New Orleans shipper who was always prominent as the 17-10 favorite. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Bee Line Edge in third in a field of 12 older horses.

Tend, a 6-year-old Dyaformer gelding, returned $8.60 as second choice after finishing in 1:18.79.

Billy and Donna Hays and their son, Justin, won 259 races last year, most of them in Ohio and Kentucky. Their regular trainer, Joe Woodard, currently is serving a suspension for a medication violation, and Woodard’s longtime assistant, Anthony Scott, has been filling in. Scott, the trainer of Tend, won three other Turfway races Saturday for the Hays family, moving his record to 6 of 21 at the winter-spring meet.

The Hayses claimed Tend for $80,000 in October at Keeneland. He earned $28,830 in the Forego and now has won 8 of 27 starts.