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Sunday, March 31, 2019 4:34 PM
  • General


March 31, 2019 (Florence, Ky.) – Turfway Park closed out its 2019 winter/spring meet March 30 four races earlier than intended, as weather conditions forced cancellation of the last half of the card.

The cancellation left intact a tie for leading trainer between Wesley Ward and Cipriano Contreras. Each finished the three-month race meet with 13 wins, Ward from 36 starters and Contreras from 27. Kim Hammond, North America’s top female trainer by wins, was third for the meet with 10 wins from 42 starters.

The winter/spring training title was the first at Turfway for Contreras and the third straight for Ward, who won the 2018 winter/spring title outright and shared the 2018 holiday title with Mike Maker.

Among Ward’s wins were the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes with Iva and three of the six stakes on the Jeff Ruby Steaks undercard: the Rushaway with Onthewaytonevrland; the Bourbonette Oaks (L) with Naughty Joker; and the Animal Kingdom with Hawaiian Noises. Contreras added the Kentucky Cup Classic to his total the same day with Nun the Less.

With eight winners from 25 starters, leading owner honors went to Hammond’s long-time client, the partnership of David Neiman’s Willowbrook Stables and Jerry Carden. Alexis Cordero-Lopez was second with six winners from 41 starters. With five wins each, Brad Kelly's Calumet Farm (35 starters), Wesley Ward (nine starters) and Contreras Stable (seven starters) tied for third.

Newcomer Luan Machado, who moved his tack from Brazil to the United States in November, pulled away to win the leading jockey title with 35 wins from 188 mounts. Among his wins were five on one card, Feb. 14. Malcolm Franklin and Abel Lezcano tied for second with 30 wins each, Franklin from 127 mounts and Lezcano from 160 mounts. Lezcano won the second race on closing night to force the tie. Franklin’s chance to retake the position alone disappeared with the cancellation.

Machado’s title is his second straight at Turfway, though recognition of the first came after the fact. He won two races on closing day of the holiday meet to finish one win behind Rodney Prescott, the announced meet leader. In early January, however, the winner of the second race on Dec. 26 was found to have tested positive and was disqualified to last.  Machado had finished second in that race, and the move up to first officially tied him with Prescott.


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