Great Come Back for Positive Response
The John Battaglia Memorial Stakes was inaugurated at the Turfway Park Racecourse as a preparation race for the Lane’s End Stakes in 1982. It is held on a dirt track and is for horses three years of age. This race was named after the previous manager of the racecourse, back when it was still known as the Latonia Race Track, and has a purse of $100 000. Positive Response has shown that he can perform on synthetic courses, but on Saturday, 5 March 2011, he proved that he is just as comfortable of dirt by winning the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes by seven lengths.
Positive Response is owned by Ray Pagano, Saul Gevertz, Roger Newman and his trainer, William Morey. He was bred by Moreau Bloodstock International and Rosebrook Farms in Florida, out of Lisa’s Approval, by Pomeroy. Winning the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes gave Positive Response his third stakes victory off his last four starts. He won the Gold Rush Stakes and the California Derby, but finished in third in the El Camino Real Derby. In total, he has enjoyed two third places and five victories in eight career starts.
Morey decided to ship Positive Response to California for the event, and Julien Couton, his regular jockey, was once again in the saddle. It was a nail-biting race, but Positive Response got out the gates very quickly and did not take long to gain the leading position. Keeping up with his fast pace, was Son of Posse and Taptowne, but as they came into the final stretch, Positive Response just pulled away from the competition and crossed the finish line seven lengths in front of Taptowne. Even though Son of Posse tired in the stretch, he still put in a valiant effort and held onto his third place.
Morey was extremely happy with the performance of his horse, saying that the victory was not a great surprise as he believes he has a great horse and that Positive Response had the capabilities of taking on the field on Saturday. No decision has yet been made about his next start, with Morey commenting "We'll concentrate on Spiral for now and if something like the Kentucky Derby happens, it would happen after Spiral."