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2008 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes

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Absolutely Cindy 2008 Battaglia Memorial Stakes

Absolutely Cindy wins the 2008 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park

© EquiSportPhotos.com
Updated March 02, 2008

The $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at Turfway Park is the last local prep for Lane's End Stakes, the track's biggest race of the year. A field of eleven 3-year-olds went to the gate in this 1 1/16 mile trip over the Polytrack, with Woodbine invader Briarwood Circle sent off as the 3-1 favorite, making his first start of the year after finishing second by a nose in the Display Stakes in November. Your Round, runner-up in the WEBN Stakes last time out, was the 7-2 second choice over 4-1 Big Glen, who defeated him in the WEBN. There was also one filly entered against males, 20-1 outsider Absolutely Cindy, who was sixth behind champion Indian Blessing in the Silverbulletday at the Fair Grounds in her last start.

When the gate opened, 5-1 Mr. Harry sprinted clear of the field and was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 3 lengths through quick fractions of 23.60, 45.78, and 1:11.35, while 33-1 Best Buddy and 9-1 Cherokee Triangle stalked him down the backstretch. Around the far turn, Your Round, who sat midpack fifth early, moved up four wide and took over the lead at the quarter pole, opening up a 2 length lead in mid-stretch. However, Absolutely Cindy, who was last for the first 5 furlongs, quickly made up ground on the turn and rallied past Your Round late to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:44.69, becoming the first filly to win the Battaglia. It was a long 6 1/2 lengths back to 40-1 Dixie Decision in third. Favorite Briarwood Circle was wide around both turns while racing back in 8th, and showed no rally late finishing last.
Results chart

Winning jockey Orlando Mojica said, "I went really wide because I didn't want to get her in traffic, and I knew I had plenty of horse."

Winning breeder, owner, and trainer Keith Kinmon said, "We had shipped her to Fair Grounds, and Indian Blessing was in the race. (Jockey) Julien (Leparoux) got a little worried about speed carrying and made her lay close, and she stopped real bad. He realized it and wrapped up on her, didn't try to push her. So I told Orlando, 'Do not change her running style. This filly wants to come from the clouds.'"

Kinmon said that Absolutely Cindy would start next in the Ashland at Keeneland rather than on Lane's End day.

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