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Turfway: Mac the Man poised for another stakes win in 96Rocks
By Marty McGee
Jeff Greenhill liked horse racing so much that he quit his job as a successful chemical engineer at age 41 to plunge headfirst into the game. Some 16 years later, Greenhill is still having a good time, although nothing has come very easy for him and his wife, Sherri.
Greenhill, 57, takes it upon himself to van the horses he and Sherri own to a variety of racing venues from their base in Kentucky.
“We’re only racing three days a week right now at Turfway Park, so you end up working out of six condition books,” said Greenhill, who lives in LaGrange, Ky., and is currently stabled about 50 minutes away at Turfway in northern Kentucky.
“I’m home only maybe three nights a week,” he said before joking: “I told somebody I’d fire my trainer, but I need to keep the van driver.”
Greenhill had won 10 stakes in a career that began slowly in 1997 before he sent out Mac the Man to win the Jan. 5 Turfway Prevue in smashing fashion, giving the trainer his first Kentucky stakes victory. On Saturday, the Greenhills will be back at Turfway to run the uncoupled entry of Mac the Man and Silver Tongued among a field of 12 3-year-olds in the $50,000 96Rocks Stakes.
“Right now, I can’t really say which one I like best, but Mac the Man hasn’t done a lot wrong,” said Greenhill.
Mac the Man, the likely favorite, will have leading jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. back aboard when breaking from post 8 in the one-mile Polytrack race, while Silver Tongued, a longshot winner of the Thistledown Juvenile in October for his lone triumph, gets post 2 and jockey Rafael Hernandez.
The 96Rocks is named for a Cincinnati radio station that assumed title sponsorship after the race had been run since 2002 as the WEBN Stakes. It is the second of four 3-year-old stakes at the meet and is to be followed by the John Battaglia Memorial on March 2 and the Turfway showcase race, the Spiral Stakes, on March 23.
First post Saturday is 1:10 p.m. Eastern, with the 96Rocks (race 9) set for 5:11.
Cincinnati Trophy: Maiden has shot
The Saturday card also features a $50,000 stakes that drew nine 3-year-old fillies. It’s the Cincinnati Trophy, a 6 1/2-furlong race carded as the seventh.
Trainer Mike Maker and jockey Shane Sellers, who will team in the 96Rocks with I Do Believe, seem to have a major contender in the Cincinnati Trophy in Smittenwithkitten, even though the filly is still a maiden after five starts. Only one of her opponents has won more than once, and that filly, Julmae, was a minor stakes winner in restricted company.
Smittenwithkitten, returning to Kentucky from Gulfstream Park in south Florida, has been competitive in maiden special weight races on turf and figures as well as any of the rest, most of whom have been competing in modest company at Turfway.
◗ Turfway announced Thursday that a race for apprentice riders will be held on the March 23 Spiral undercard. The race is being called the International Catch a Riding Star, with riders from racing schools in other countries being invited to compete against those from the North American Racing Academy in Lexington, Ky.
Previous races at Turfway for riding academy students have been staged as exhibitions, but this one will offer wagering.
- 1.Posted 12/04/2013 11:20AM
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