Beautiful Bets gives trainer big win
FLORENCE, Ky. -- In terms of big-money races, it had been a long time between proverbial drinks for trainer Glenn Wismer. The 27-year veteran enjoyed his peak season in 1992, when Luv Me Luv Me Not won the Kentucky Oaks, but his stable has pretty much been off the radar in subsequent seasons.
But when Beautiful Bets held off La Reason to win the $128,500 Turfway Park Breeders' Cup on Saturday, Wismer had his richest victory since Antrim Rd. won the $500,000 Illinois Derby at Sportsman's Park in 1993. Beautiful Bets, a 15-1 shot, got a perfect trip under Willie Martinez to win the Grade 3 race by a neck.
Beautiful Bets took over from front-running Slew Peg approaching the eighth pole before having enough left to beat La Reason. Slew Peg held third, while 7-5 favorite Splendid Blended was fourth and second-choice Prospective Saint faded to sixth.
"The trick today was getting her to relax," said Martinez. "I was able to get a clear path with her, and when I got to the three-sixteenths pole I had a lot of confidence we would win."
Beautiful Bets, a 6-year-old gray mare owned by the Casa de Caballos of Greg Szymski, finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.79 and now has won seven of 44 starts and $365,412. The Turfway BC was her first graded triumph.
Sprint: Reigning Court a late bloomer
It took nearly a year, but Reigning Court is beginning to look like a good buy. Ten months after being purchased privately following a dominant maiden victory, Reigning Court recorded his first stakes victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint at Turfway Park.
Taking advantage of a hotly contested pace, jockey Corey Lanerie positioned the eventual winner in third early, as Chief What It Is and Four Sevens set a contested pace of 21.85 and 44.85 seconds in the six-furlong race for 3-year-olds. Then soon after entering the lane, Reigning Court surged to the lead and had enough left through the stretch to withstand the rally of Island Warrior, winning by a half-length.
The winner, a gelded son of Glitterman owned by Brenda and Phillip Roberston, won for the third time in 10 starts. He raced six furlongs in 1:09.13 over Polytrack.
Although coming off a 4 3/4-length victory at Arlington Sept. 1, he paid $53.40 to win - in part because he had lost seven races between a maiden win at Churchill Downs last November and his Sept. 1 score at Arlington.
Winning trainer Scott Blasi said Reigning Court had been his own worst enemy by misbehaving in the starting gate, but he began to come around over the summer. "He's turned the corner," he said.
Island Warrior, the second choice in the field of 12, ran well in defeat and was slowly gaining in the late going. He finished three lengths clear of 16-1 longshot Hallowed Flag in third.
Likely, the 2-1 favorite, never threatened after breaking poorly, finishing sixth.
Juvenile: Reinstedler runs one-two
Trainer Tony Reinstedler came into the Kentucky Cup Juvenile with one proven stakes-quality colt in Shermanesque. He left it with two.
U D Ghetto, the less accomplished of the two Reinstedler starters in the 12-horse Grade 3, $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile, scored a surprising victory, defeating stablemate Shermanesque by a length and a quarter.
Well handled by Mike Smith, U D Ghetto tracked the pace along the outside in third early before advancing leaving the far turn and into the stretch. Although Shermanesque rallied through the lane, the outcome was never in doubt, with U D Ghetto maintaining a clear advantage through the stretch.
Son of the West finished a length behind the runner-up in third.
A 2-year-old gelded son of Honour and Glory owned by the Lucky Seven Stable, the winner picked up his first stakes victory and his second lifetime victory in four starts. He raced 1 1/16 miles over Polytrack in 1:43.86, after stalking fractions of 47.21 and 1:11.58 seconds that were set by Izzie's Halo, the 2-1 favorite and eventual fourth-place finisher.
U D Ghetto, coming off a third in an allowance at Turfway Sept. 9, paid $37.80.
Reinstedler said the winner would be considered for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. As for Shermanesque, who ran second in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor and third in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special earlier this year, "he's a horse for next year, not a 'now' 2-year-old."
Juvenile Fillies: Cohiba Miss upsets
Martinez capped a sensational day when guiding his pickup mount, Cohiba Miss, to a wire-to-wire upset in the final race in the series, the $100,000 KC Juvenile Fillies.
Cohiba Miss, owned by Mike Rutherford and trained by Bernie Flint, shot straight to the lead in the one-mile race and was never seriously threatened. She returned $26.20 after finishing in 1:36.68.
Whatdreamsrmadeof rallied to finish second, 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner and another length before Expertise. Frisk Her finished fourth but was disqualified for a midstretch bumping incident.
Martinez earlier won the Classic and Turfway BC.
- Additional reporting by Byron King