01/26/2012 1:20PM

Turfway Park: Hollywood Hit targets rebound in Forego Stakes

Michael Burns
Hollywood Hit will try to bounce back in Saturday's $50,000 Forego Stakes at Turfway Park.

The winner of the last sprint stakes at Turfway Park wasn’t even nominated to the next one, but the runner-up and beaten favorite have returned in what shapes up as an interesting renewal of the $50,000 Forego Stakes on Saturday at the northern Kentucky track.

River Bear, a five-length winner of the Dec. 31 Holiday Cheer at Turfway, is entered in Saturday’s $50,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn Park by trainer Rusty Hellman. His absence from the Forego, a 6 1/2-furlong Polytrack race, leaves Live From Appollo and Hollywood Hit as two of the top contenders in an oversubscribed field of 13 older horses.

Live From Appollo, trained by Ingrid Mason, suddenly has become a horse for a synthetic course, having turned in three top efforts over Polytrack, the latest being his last-to-second run in the Holiday Cheer.

Hollywood Hit will be making his second start for Wayne Mogge after establishing himself as one of Canada’s top Polytrack sprinters in recent seasons. Although a disappointing 10th as the 2-1 favorite in the Holiday Cheer, the gelding did have a terrible start that day. A workout in the interim – a bullet half-mile in 47.20 seconds on Jan. 18 at Turfway – suggests marked improvement could be in the offing.

This will be the 29th running of the Forego, named for the legendary gelding of the mid-1970s. It anchors a 10-race Saturday afternoon card that begins at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

◗ Apprentice rider Felipe Villeda notched his first career victory when guiding Royal Ensign to a 40-1 upset in the eighth race last Friday, Jan. 20, at Turfway. Villeda, 26, grew up in Queretaro, Mexico, as one of 11 children. His first triumph came with his 14th mount and led to the familiar initiation rite from his fellow riders.

◗ The second of four races in the annual Turfway series of stakes for 3-year-olds comes next Saturday, Feb. 4, with the $50,000 WEBN Stakes at one mile. Subsequent races are the $75,000 John Battaglia Memorial on March 3 and the Grade 3, $500,000 Vinery Racing Spiral on March 24.

◗ Unlike in prior years, when first post on Super Bowl Sunday was noon, the Feb. 5 card will begin at the usual time of 1:10 p.m. Kickoff for the Super Bowl is 6:29, so most fans still will have plenty of time to get where they’re going.