Gearing up for the Lane’s End Stakes

The Turfway Park racecourse in Kentucky is buzzing with activity as stewards and racecourse officials go through their paces to ensure that everything is perfect for Saturday’s horse racing action. To many the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes is a very important event, not only because it has a purse of $500 000, but it is a prep event for the Kentucky Derby. It will be the 38th running of the Lane’s End Stakes. A few horses have already made the news in regard to their abilities to win; and expectations are running high.

The Lane’s End Stakes will be run at Turfway Park on 21 March 2009, and punters view this race as an opportunity to begin speculating on the performances that can then be expected at the Kentucky Derby. Three horses seem to be the top favorites for this horse racing event and are, in no particular order, West Side Bernie, Bittel Road and Hold Me Back.

Hold Me Back is trained by Bill Mott and was sired by Giant’s Causeway. Not having raced this year, it is believed that this well rested athlete could be a formidable competitor. As Polytrack seems to be a comfortable surface for Hold Me Back, it is expected that he will deliver a remarkable performance. Trainer Todd Pletcher has put his faith in Bittel Road, and has chosen Garrett Gomez as jockey for the Lane’s End Stakes. Sired by Stormy Atlantic, Bittel Road has shown immense potential during his two year old racing campaign, winning events such as the Bourbon Stakes and With Anticipation Stakes. Pletcher hopes to rekindle some of that magic on Saturday. The other favorite for this racing extravaganza is West Side Bernie. After suffering a few disappointments last year, his connections are hopeful that returning him to the track where he won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes will kick start his year on a positive note.

Other horses, likely to compete in the Lane’s End Stakes, includes Orthodox, Jack Spratt, A.P. Cardinal, Proceed Bee and Parade Clown. The racing action will also be available in the homes of those who cannot attend, being featured on ESPN 2 between 17:00 to 18:00 pm (European Time).