Updated on 09/16/2011 8:37AM

Turkish Prize captures Mile


Having claimed Turkish Prize on July 24, then losing him on Aug. 22, trainer Ted H. West and owner Jeffrey Sengara got him back via the claim box on Oct. 9. It was just in time, for Turkish Prize made his next start in Saturday's $175,000 California Cup Mile, which he won by knifing between horses in the final furlong.

With Victor Espinoza up, Turkish Prize found a seam that eluded rivals such as Surprise Halo and Adminniestrator. He collared Spinelessjellyfish with 70 yards remaining and went on to prevail by a neck. Late-running Adminniestrator, caught in traffic at the top of the stretch and again at mid-stretch, closed ground to finish third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Spinelessjellyfish.

Turkish Prize ($18) covered one mile on firm turf in 1:34.82 while flying through the final quarter-mile in approximately 23 seconds. The victory was the 11th in 40 lifetime starts for the 7-year-old Prized gelding, who has bounced between high-priced claimers and restricted stakes for most of his career.

Turkish Prize has been popular at the claim box. Prior to Saturday, he had been claimed in three straight races, and five of his last eight, for prices ranging from $50,000 to $62,500.


Summer Wind Dancer ran down an exhausted Buttertart in the shadow of the wire to score a victory in the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies that seemed improbable with a furlong to go.

Buttertart, a 30-1 shot, sprinted clear at the top of the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile race and had a three-length lead passing the furlong pole. But she became weary in the final 150 yards, and Summer Wind Dancer kept plugging away. Summer Wind Dancer got up to win by a half-length, with Tizalovelylady third, another 3 1/2 lengths back, after racing extremely wide on both turns.

Summer Wind Dancer ($8.60) was timed in 1:44.38 on the fast main track, but her cause was aided by a rapid pace (22.88, :46.57) that left the front-runners staggering.

Summer Wind Dancer, a 2-year-old daughter of Siberian Summer, has now won three times in four starts for trainer Jenine Sahadi. Alex Solis was up.