01/08/2012 11:01AM

Turfway: Mr. Prankster heads one-two sweep for Maker in Prevue

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Patrick Lang/Lang Photography
Heavy favorite Mr. Prankster, ridden by John McKee, takes the Turfway Prevue.

Trainer Mike Maker continued his dominance of Turfway Park when he swept  the top two spots Saturday night in the 24th running of the $50,000 Turfway Prevue at the Florence, Ky., track.

Mr. Prankster, ridden by John McKee, scored a 3 1/2-length victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack race, with his uncoupled Maker-trained stablemate, Magical Season, rallying from well back to be up for second at 11-1, another half-length ahead of Frankie Is Rock in a field of 12 3-year-olds.

Mr. Prankster, owned by Maker and Tom Conway, returned $4.40 as a heavy favorite after finishing in 1:18.96. A Kentucky-bred colt by It’s No Joke, Mr. Prankster rallied from mid-pack for his second win, and first in a stakes, from 5 overall starts.

“The race set up well for us, and we let the speed go,” said McKee. “When I asked him, he was there.”

The all-Maker exacta (9-7) paid $33.20 for $2.

Maker, the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant who has his main bases this winter in Florida and Louisiana, already has won nine Turfway training titles since going out on his own in 2003, including the 2011 holiday meet that ended Dec. 31. Maker sent out winners in two of the five stakes at that meet and has about 40 horses at Turfway this winter.

The Turfway Prevue is the first of four stakes in the 3-year-old division at the Turfway winter-spring meet. The final one comes March 24 with the 41st running of the Grade 3, $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral Stakes, which was captured last year by Animal Kingdom, the eventual Kentucky Derby winner.