03/10/2011 3:13PM

Turfway sees rematch in Wintergreen


The last time a two-turn filly-mare stakes was run at Turfway Park, La Gran Bailadora proved clearly best. A few things have changed in the four weeks since the Likely Exchange was run Feb. 12 at the Florence, Ky., track, most notably an influx of new faces to oppose the winner.

La Gran Bailadora wheels back Saturday night in the $50,000 Wintergreen Stakes at Turfway, as do the two horses who gave her closest chase, Hungry Tigress and Jonmil’s Edge. But it is new shooters such as Midway Holiday and Spring Party that should afford horseplayers a fresh approach toward the Wintergreen, a one-mile Polytrack race that drew 11 fillies and mares.

Midway Holiday, based in recent months at Fair Grounds with trainer Greg Foley, surely needed her last race at the New Orleans track when she finished fourth in a Feb. 5 off-the-turf allowance, her first outing in four months.

“That race came up really tough for a ‘three-other-than,’ ” said Foley. “None of her races filled down here since then, so I went ahead and sent the filly up there to Kentucky earlier this week to give this race on the Polytrack a shot. She came up a little empty last out, but I think she’ll be ready to go this time.”

Spring Party, claimed for $25,000 out of a winning Polytrack race last fall at Keeneland, exits a Grade 3 turf stakes at Tampa Bay Downs for owner Jerry Jamgotchian and trainer Eric Reed. A 5-year-old Smart Strike mare, she has been consistent and versatile thus far in a 14-race career.

Other newcomers to the winter-spring meet at Turfway include War Tigress and Sweet Temptress. Otherwise, La Gran Bailadora clearly is the top returnee from the Likely Exchange and will be going for her fourth straight victory for breeder-owner Tracy Farmer and trainer Mike Maker. The 4-year-old Afleet Alex filly will start from post 9 with Jozbin Santana back aboard.

First post Saturday is 5:30 p.m. Eastern, with the Wintergreen, the 11th of 12 races, set for 10:26. The race is named for the Ohio-bred winner of the 1909 Kentucky Derby and was first run in 1983.

Jamgotchian and Reed won the 2010 Wintergreen with Rinterval.