Photo: Don August
The fields for the $550,000 Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes and the $125,000 Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks, both to run at Turfway Park this Saturday, are rapidly coming together.
Both Grade 3, the races are designated qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively, offering 50 points to the winner, 20 to the runner-up, 10 to the show horse, and five to the fourth-place finisher.
Del Mar Futurity (G1) and El Camino Real (G3) winner Tamarando, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, leads the list of probable Spiral Stakes contenders. Listed in order of preference by stakes coordinator Tia Murphy, probables are:
Tamarando (owner Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams/trainer Jerry Hollendorfer)
We Miss Artie (Ken and Sarah Ramsey/Todd Pletcher)
Solitary Ranger (Susan Moulton/Wayne Catalano)
Asserting Bear (Bear Stables Ltd./Reade Baker)
Coastline (John C. Oxley/Mark Casse)
Harry’s Holiday (Skychai Racing LLC and Terry Raymond/Mike Maker)
Arctic Slope (Shortleaf Stable Inc./Ken McPeek)
Big Bazinga (Derby Dreamers Racing Stable/Katerina Vassilieva)
All Tied Up (Dogwood Stable/Todd Pletcher)
Almost Famous (Chuck and Maribeth Sandford LLC/Pat Byrne)
Smart Cover (Donegal Racing/Dale Romans)
Tourist (WinStar Farm LLC/Bill Mott)
Others are still under consideration. A maximum of 12 horses may enter each race, with preference given first to winners of graded stakes in grade order, then to stakes winners, and finally highest career earnings. If the race is oversubscribed, two with the least eligibility may remain on the also-eligible list in order of preference.
With $625,120 in earnings and 10 starts, Tamarando is one of the most experienced horses expected for this year’s Spiral Stakes. Eight of those races came in his 2-year-old season, which he finished with three wins including the Del Mar Futurity, one second, and three thirds. The ambitious opening season was dictated by the horse.
“He’s been very sound, and he was doing everything we asked him to do,” said Hollendorfer, “so we ran him. He fits in this race. It looks like a good spot.”
In his first start this year, Tamarando was second to the impressive California Chrome in the state-restricted California Cup Derby at Santa Anita. The win in the El Camino Real came next, with Tamarando coming wide with his trademark big late run to get up by half a length over multiple Grade 1-placed Dance With Fate.
Tamarando had his final pre-Spiral work Sunday on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields. The Bertrando colt was one of two to cover seven furlongs that day and finished the distance in 1:28 flat. Russell Baze was aboard for the first time for the El Camino Real and is expected to ride Saturday.
In Swiss Lake Yodeler, Hollendorfer also has the most accomplished filly expected for the Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks. Twice a winner at two in state- and gender-restricted stakes, Swiss Lake Yodeler tried turf for the first time in the California Oaks on Jan. 25 and finished well off the board, her only finish out of the money in six career starts. She comes in to the Bourbonette Oaks off a third-place finish in the San Ysabel (G3) on the dirt at Santa Anita behind multiple graded stakes winner Awesome Baby.
“We wanted to get her back on synthetics,” Hollendorfer said.
Swiss Lake Yodeler had her final work on Sunday at Santa Anita, going five furlongs in 1:00.40, 16th of 58 at the distance.
Hollendorfer’s double threat will ship to Turfway on Wednesday. The trainer will arrive Friday.
In order of preference, fillies probable for the Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks are:
Swiss Lake Yodeler (owner Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams/trainer Jerry Hollendorfer)
Zensational Bunny (Gary Barber/Mark Casse)
Le Mejor Fiesta (Ice Wine Stable/Wesley Ward)
Katie’s Eyes (Ike and Dawn Thrash and Janet and Sam Alley/Grant Forster)
Shanon Nicole (Connie Apostelos/Mike Maker)
Super Sky (Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners/Todd Pletcher)
Cheerful Contender (Debby M. Oxley/Mark Casse)
Stormy Novel (Cam Allard/John Servis)
Paloma P (Monticule LLC/Eric Reed)
Sloane Square (Michael Tabor/Todd Pletcher)
Turtle River (Stonereath Farm/Ben Colebrook)
Itsreigningkittens (Ken and Sarah Ramsey/Mike Maker)
Others remain under consideration for the Bourbonette Oaks.
The Spiral Stakes, for 3-year-olds, covers 1 1/8 miles on Turfway’s Polytrack surface. The companion Bourbonette Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies, covers one mile on Polytrack. The Spiral purse of $550,000 includes $50,000 from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund (KTDF); the latter portion of the purse is available only to Kentucky-sired, Kentucky-bred contenders. The $125,000 Bourbonette Oaks purse includes $25,000 in KTDF money.
Entries for the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes and the Pure Romance Bourbonette Oaks will be drawn Wed., March 19.