Fioretti Headlines Turfway Park Opening Weekend
Fioretti Headlines Turfway Park Opening Weekend: Turfway Park opens up another meet this weekend. Read most articles relating to this and it will be pointed out the racetrack was once named Greater Cincinnati’s “Best Cheap Date.”
One of the horses scheduled to compete in their Holiday Inaugural Stakes on Saturday just won a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race two starts ago. Fioretti, a five-year-old Bernardini mare conditioned by Anthony Hamilton Jr., will attempt to make amends for her 13th place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI).
She previously captured Keeneland’s Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (GII) at double-digit odds with English rider Sophie Doyle on board. Did a muddy track help Fioretti at Keeneland?
Certain sires help move up horses on wet dirt, especially those coming from the A.P. Indy line. Bernardini progeny are proficient in the rain. One older example is Alpha, who stunned the field in the 2013 Woodward (GI). He went on to finish sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) and eighth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI).
Three starts ago, Fioretti lost the Groupie Doll (GIII) by less than a length over fast dirt. She lost to Call Pat though, a mare no one will mistake for being one of the best. Then again, the best horses are not at Turfway Park. In the race before the Groupie Doll, Fioretti took home an ungraded stakes at Churchill Downs over fast dirt.
Then what happened in the Breeders’ Cup?
Breeders’ Cup races are difficult. Horses who look great in their prep race are overwhelmed by the quality and depth from facing the best horses. Fioretti faces an average stakes field in this one.
For example, look at the filly on the rail named Cactus Joe. Who names a female horse “Joe”? Besides the unfortunate name, she lost her last start at the lower-tier Indiana Grand by 21 lengths.
Going down the post-position order, at least Tippie Tap comes out of a higher-level optional claiming race at Aqueduct. She dueled in a hot pace too, and horses who fade badly off a pace battle tend to be ignored.
In the fifth slot, Spanish Pipedream might attract some attention as a Wesley Ward-trained filly. Last year, she competed at Royal Ascot and ran admirably. When she returned this year to compete at Gulfstream Park and Turfway Park, she won both races before finishing fourth in an ungraded Woodbine stakes race.
Two spots to the right, Rachel’s Ready offers class after finishing second in a decent Churchill Downs allowance race. The winner Pleasant Tales and third-place horse Simply Confection are fringe stakes horses. In fact, Simply Confection once won an optional claiming race last year featuring Keen Pauline and I’m a Chatterbox.
On the far outside, Aireofdistinction deserves attention because she competed against the eventual Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint champion Wavell Avenue at Saratoga. This mare ran well to complete the trifecta.
Wow, perhaps Fioretti needs an “A” effort after all despite taking relief from a Breeders’ Cup race. In general, outsiders from elite racing circuits are preferred in Turfway Park stakes races. If a horse based at Indiana found a way to prevail, it would be a surprise. If not Fioretti, give Spanish Pipedream and Aireofdistinction priority.
If all three horses fail, well, there is a cheap movie theater which sits on the same parking lot as Turfway Park. Just tell the romantic interest it is “Bad Date Saturday” and make the situation sound like everything went to plan.