01/31/2009 12:00AM

Turfiste gets his head up


Turfiste used an all-out effort to run down Big Push and win the $60,000 Black Gold Stakes at Fair Gounds by a head on Saturday.

It was a battle down the long Fair Grounds stretch as Turfiste just got by favorite Big Push, who was making his first turf start.

After a stalking trip, Turfiste hooked up with early leader Big Push. Big Push did not give way, but was gradually headed as they crossed the finish line.

It was the first stakes win for Turfiste, who went the 5 1/2 furlongs over the Fair Grounds turf in 1:04.58 and paid $8.40 to win.

It was the third win of the day for jockey Jamie Theriot, who took over first place in the jockey standings at Fair Grounds.

"We had a great stalking position," said Theriot. "Once he made the lead he was a little lost, ducking in and out, but he was the best horse today."

Turfiste earned $36,000 for his connections, owner Walts David Stable and trainer Bob Holthus.

It was Turfiste's second trip over the Fair Grounds turf, and his first win. He finished second in a mile race on Dec. 31, but he would not be denied on Saturday.

"We wanted to run him short on the turf after his last start," said Tim Glyshaw, who saddled Turfiste for Holthus. "He's probably better at sprinting."