12/01/2011 3:46PM

Woodbine: Trainer Banach plans to be active this winter in Florida


The Gulfstream Park meeting begins Saturday and one Woodbine trainer who will be on hand is Darwin Banach.

Town Prize, the 2-year-old colt whom Banach trains for Bill Sorokolit, is among eight entrants in the $100,000 Spectacular Bid, the opening-day feature at six furlongs.

Bred by Sorokolit in Kentucky, Town Prize sandwiched wins in a maiden race and a first-level allowance sprint around a third-place finish in the Colin Stakes in his three starts at the Woodbine meeting.

Stormy Allure, a homebred 3-year-old filly who campaigns for Bill Sorokolit Sr., also has shown promise in her first campaign and will be looking for her second career victory here Saturday.

Bred in Ontario, Stormy Allure, won her maiden and a first-level allowance from four outings and will be competing under the second-level allowance clause in an optional 62,500 claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs..

Banach himself characterizes his 2011 meeting here as “just okay."

“We had lots of seconds, lots of thirds,” said Banach, whose barn had a record of 13-18-19 from 131 starts for earnings of $700,536 heading into Thursday’s card..

Banach, who had 22 horses here for most of the meeting, plans to have a 20-horse contingent at his regular off-season headquarters at Nelson Jones Farm in the Ocala area.

Town Prize and Classic Bryce, a homebred 2-year-old who races for the Sorokolits, were among eight horses who left from Woodbine last Monday.

Classic Byrce had finished up the track when travelling six furlongs with blinkers on for his debut but then stretched out to 1 1/16 miles minus that equipment and was a 20-1 upsetter.

In a subsequent outing, Classic Byrne finished eighth in the Coronation Futurity, beaten 5 3/4 lengths in that 1 1/8- mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

Banach also has high hopes for Ready to Ramble, a homebred 2-year-old filly who is a half-sister to Stormy Allure.

Both fillies are out of Woodbine Oaks runner-up Ready and Alluring with Stormy Allure sired by Stormy Atlantic and Ready to Ramble by Giant’s Causeway.

Crown’s Path reverses form in Sir Barton

Crown’s Path, coming off a fourth-place finish in a restricted second-level allowance, broke through for his first stakes victory here in Wednesday’s night’s $125,000 Sir Barton.

Owned by Joe Stritzl and trained by Greg DeGannes, Crown Path was unstarted as a 2-year-old and compiled a record of 3-3-0 for earnings of $276,448 in this year’s nine-start campaign.

“He ran below my expectations in his last start, and I opted not to run him in the next nonwinners of three,” said DeGannes, after watching Crown’s Path score by a length under new rider Gerry Olguin. “He tries so hard, all the time. This gave him 30 days between starts.”

Crown’s Path, who was moved up to second via a disqualification in the $500,000 Breeders’ Stakes over 1 1/2 miles of turf, soon will be heading to Ocala to freshen up.

“I’m really looking forward to next year’s big distance turf races here,” said DeGannes.

Jenny’s so Great sprints at Tampa Bay

Jenny’s So Great, the top female turf sprinter on the grounds for DeGannes this season, has been entered in Saturday’s $75,000 Lightning City Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

The Lightning City, a five-furlong turf race for fillies and mares, is the feature on the opening-day program.

Jenny’s So Great, an Ontario-foaled 4-year-old who races for Bill and Vicki Poston, will be looking for her third stakes win of the season after capturing the restricted seven-furlong Zadracarta and the Grade 3, six-furlong Royal North on the grass here at Woodbine.

Jason Servis will be her trainer of record for the Lightning City.

Dos Ramos rides in Trinidad

Richard Dos Ramos will be at Santa Rose Park in Trinidad on Saturday for the Caribbean Nations Racing Challenge Day.

Dos Ramos has been named on five horses, including Sam’s Hero in the $100,000 West Indian-bred Stayers Challenge.

Sam’s Hero is trained by Stephen Jardim, who had worked here as an assistant to De Gannes before running his own barn here in 2008.

For the past two years, Jardim worked here with trainer Brian Lynch.