12/29/2012 7:33PM

Turfway Park: Luzianna Man adds to Lopresti's charmed year by upsetting Holiday Cheer

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Pat Lang Photography
The 3-year-old Luzianna Man, ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., overtakes the gray filly Yankee Union to win the Holiday Cheer Stakes in the snow.

Luzianna Man capped an unforgettable year for trainer Charlie Lopresti when he overtook the filly Yankee Union in the final strides to post his first stakes victory Saturday in the $50,000 Holiday Cheer at Turfway Park in northern Kentucky.

“When he got in gear, he really took off,” said Lopresti, whose year has been highlighted by the exploits of the likely 2012 Horse of the Year, Wise Dan. “He’s even a lot better horse than he showed in this race.”

Luzianna Man, bred and owned by Stonehaven Steadings and ridden by the meet’s leading rider, Norberto Arroyo Jr., returned $17.40 after finishing the six-furlong Polytrack race in 1:12.40. The 3-year-old Luzianna Man was still eligible for a first-level allowance when he rallied from midpack to win by a neck.

Yankee Union, one of three female runners in a field of 12, finished another 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Gung Ho, the 2-1 second choice. Ingenue, a 3-year-old filly sent away the 2-1 favorite, was never a factor when finishing eighth.