01/19/2012 2:11PM

Turfway: Lotta Lovin can enhance sale value in Cincinnati Trophy


Lotta Lovin had been moderately productive for Buck Butler after he and his partners made a private purchase of the filly following a dominating victory in a June maiden race at Presque Isle Downs. Lotta Lovin quickly won a Calder allowance race, but then the best she could do from three stakes efforts was a fourth-place finish.

The proverbial tide turned when Lotta Lovin won the Gowell Stakes at Turfway Park in the final start of her 2-year-old season. Now, not only does Lotta Lovin enter the next Turfway stakes in the division, the $50,000 Cincinnati Trophy on Saturday afternoon, as the likely favorite, but another victory could certainly enhance her value when she sells Feb. 6 as Hip No. 34 in the Fasig-Tipton sale in Lexington, Ky.

“We figure it’s all blue sky for her,” said Butler, a real estate manager in Woodside, N.Y. “People are looking for nice 3-year-old fillies with black type, and that’s what we have now. We might end up holding on to her, but the thing is we’ve put ourselves in a good position with her.”

Lotta Lovin will race again for Mike Maker and Victor Lebron, the leading trainer and jockey, respectively, at the current winter-spring meet. Nine other 3-year-old fillies will oppose her in the 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack race, with perhaps A.P. Diva, third as a lukewarm favorite in the Dec. 26 Gowell, being the main threat.

Lotta Lovin, a Pennsylvania-bred by Repent, captured the Gowell from just off the pace, despite having been unruly in the starting gate.

“She was one of the first to load, and they took a long time before they finally broke, so she just kind of got restless in there,” said Butler. “It all worked out in the end, though.”

Besides A.P. Diva, other notable Trophy challengers include Flashy Lassie, fourth in the Gowell and a winner of the Grade 3 Debutante at Churchill Downs in June for trainer Garry Simms, and the gray Sweetnessngoodness, a two-time winner at Turfway in December for Mike Lauer.

This is the 30th running of the Cincinnati Trophy, which was first run in 1983 when Snappy Machree prevailed under jockey Charlie Woods. The 2011 running was won by Angelica Zapata for trainer Ron Pelligrini and jockey Ben Creed.

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