03/09/2012 5:27PM

Turfway: Spiral interest mounting

Barbara D. Livingston
State of Play is owned by Team Valor International and trained by Graham Motion, who won the Spiral and later the Kentucky Derby in 2011 with Animal Kingdom.

Turfway Park’s stakes coordinator, Tia Murphy, said Friday that interest is building among horsemen for the Spiral, for which entries will be taken the Thursday before the race (March 22). With 166 horses nominated, officials are hopeful of getting a big field, even if Hansen runs and scares off some prospects.

At this early juncture, those whose connections have expressed interest include Heavy Breathing and Holiday Promise, both trained by Todd Pletcher, and State of Play and Went the Day Well, both owned by Team Valor International and trained by Graham Motion.

State of Play earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 83 in capturing the Battaglia Memorial last weekend by a head over Ill Conceived. Team Valor and Motion won the Spiral last year with Animal Kingdom, who went on to win the Derby in his next start.