01/21/2010 12:00AM

Two involved in four-way photo meet once more


When Turfway Park ran the same kind of race as Saturday's $50,000 Forego Stakes four weeks ago, the result was a blanket finish among four horses.

Golden Country was the winner of the Dec. 26 Holiday Cheer, with Agastache second, Accredit third, and Flavor fourth. The margins: neck, nose, head.

"We were expecting our horse to run that kind of race," said trainer Joe Woodard, who watched Flavor lose for the first time in four starts since he claimed the gelding for his main client, Billy Hays. "We were just hoping to get to the wire first. It almost happened that way."

While Agastache and Accredit have scattered to Oaklawn Park and Gulfstream Park, respectively, Golden Country and Flavor will reconvene Saturday when the Forego is run over the Polytrack surface at Turfway. Those two seem to tower over the rest of the field in the 6 1/2-furlong Forego, which goes as the 10th of 11 races.

"Hopefully with a couple of those other horses gone, we'll have an edge and we can turn the tables Saturday," said Woodard.

Flavor, a 4-year-old by Elusive Quality, was claimed for $30,000 at Keeneland in October. He then reeled off three straight allowance wins before being narrowly beaten as the 2-1 favorite in the Holiday Cheer.

"He's turned out to be a pretty good claim so far, probably one of our best ever," said Woodard. "I was telling somebody that I about tripped over myself going to the claim box to go get him at Keeneland. If they were all this good, it'd be an easy game."

Flavor, with Rex Stokes to ride, will break from post 2 in the Forego.

Golden Country, who captured the Holiday Cheer as the 6-1 fifth choice, was assigned post 4 under Dean Mernagh. Trained by Tom Bergin, the 5-year-old Golden Country has won 4 of 15 starts.

Five others are entered in the Forego, and a victory by any would qualify as an upset. Those horses are Grand Daddy, Forestry Gold, Godolphin Gray, Matty's Trail, and Jerry Barry Jack.

The Forego, named for the legendary gelding of the mid-1970s, was first run in 1983, when Play It My Way prevailed for trainer John T. Ward. Jr.