12/08/2005 12:00AM

Top 3 likely winners in first 3 posts


In an age when racetracks are in dire need of horses to fill their programs, a stakes race is more apt to be canceled than divided. The most recent year in which Turfway Park had such a surplus of horses that a stakes was run in two divisions was 1995, when both the Turfway Prevue and Likely Exchange were divided.

A decade later, a thing of the past is a thing of today. The My Charmer Stakes, scheduled for Saturday at Turfway in Florence, Ky., drew 27 fillies and mares, leading racing secretary Rick Leigh to card the race in two divisions.

Both divisions of the 1 1/16-mile My Charmer will be worth the original $50,000, including $10,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. The divisions are carded as the 10th and 11th of 12 races on the card.

In the first division, the three fillies who happened to draw inside look like the deserving favorites. Kristy Beethoven (post 1) exits four straight graded races, having most recently finished a respectable fifth in the Grade 2 Falls City at Churchill Downs. Eyes on Eddy (post 2), with leading jockey Jesus Castanon to ride, last raced in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland. Dowry (post 3) looked exceptionally sharp in winning a turf allowance on Nov. 23 at Churchill for trainer Pat Byrne.

Thirteen were entered in the first division, with Arabian Spell the lone also-eligible. Fourteen, including also-eligibles Slew's Sparkle and Smart N Smooth, were entered in the second division, which might have a couple of turf specialists, Lenatareese and Modena Bay, as the horses to beat.

Lenatareese (post 4), trained by David Carroll, most recently finished 12th in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill, but the performance probably was better than it looks, considering she was much closer to the early pace than normal. Modena Bay (post 5), trained by Darrin Miller, comes off a narrow defeat in a Nov. 4 Churchill allowance and could be tough with a similar effort on Saturday.

In all, nine of the 27 My Charmer horses are stakes winners.

The My Charmer is named for the mare who was mated with Bold Reasoning in 1973 and produced the great Seattle Slew in 1974. Turfway has run the My Charmer since 1980.

First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Eastern.