BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Gainesway Stable and LNJ Foxwood’s Loyalty will make her 2024 debut with hopes of winning her second straight stakes in the $125,000 Wishing Well at Turfway Park Saturday night. The Wishing Well has attracted a full field of 12 fillies and mares who will go six-and-a-half furlongs on the synthetic main track.
The 5-year-old Loyalty has relished racing on all-weather surfaces throughout her career with all seven of her wins and 10 of her 11 lifetime starts coming on the synthetic main courses at Woodbine and Presque Isle Downs. Only once has Loyalty finished out of the top three on synthetic, having finished fourth, beaten just two-and-a-half lengths by winner Accomplished Girl, in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters going six-and-a-half furlongs in September.
Most recently, the Josie Carroll trainee won the Grade 2 Bessarabian by a length-and-a-half going seven furlongs at Woodbine on Nov. 11. Last year she also won the Grade 3 Hendrie in July and an upper level, $80,000 optional claiming in June, both going six-and-a-half furlongs on the main track at Woodbine.
By Hard Spun out of Slew’s Quality, by Elusive Quality, Loyalty was bred in Florida by Thomas and Lori Fackler in the name of their Best A Luck Farm LLC located in Reddick, Fla., in partnership with Godolphin LLC.
Loyalty has earned $398,647 in her 11 career starts and is the 2-1 second choice on the morning line for the Wishing Well.
Luan Machado will ride Loyalty for the first time and they have post four.
The 8-5 morning line favorite is the William Morey-trained Marissa’s Lady, winner of the $122,000 Holiday Inaugural going six furlongs at Turfway on Dec. 2 in her last start.
Another with an impressive all-weather resume, Marissa’s Lady was third in the Presque Isle Downs Masters and won the $80,000 Satin and Lace at Presque Isle in August. In addition to winning the Holiday Inaugural, the 5-year-old daughter of Violence won the $100,000 Valdale and $97,000 Serena’s Song last year and in the 2021 Gowell, all sprinting at Turfway.
Marissa’s Lady is owned by Boone Family Trust and Tillema Family Trust and has won eight of 14 career starts and six of eight on synthetic. She also has two seconds and third with lifetime earnings of $629,600.
Gerado Corrales takes the first time riding assignment on Marissa’s Lady and they have post seven.
Also set to carry the Florida flag in the Wishing Well is Secret Operation, who is 30-1 on the morning line for owner and trainer Mike Slager.
The 4-year-old filly has had only two of her 14 career starts on synthetic, both coming in her last two races at Turfway. She was second, a head shy of winner Yes Day going six-and-a-half furlongs in November and was a troubled six in her last race on Dec. 27, both sprinting in first level, $25,000 optional claiming races.
By Belomor out of I’m So Beautiful, by Grand Slam, Secret Operation was bred in Florida by Glockenburg and has career earnings of $30,797.
Secret Operation has post ten and jockey Cory Orm.
Completing the field in the Wishing Well are Souper Munnings with Tyler Connor aboard, Hartful Hope and jockey Perry Ouzts, Ravella will be ridden by Axel Conception, Napa Candy and pilot Ruben Hernandez, Baby No Worries with Walter Rodriguez in the irons, Albin Jimenez will be aboard B G Warrior, Up and Down with jockey Adam Beschizza, Stella Noir and Colby Hernandez and Declan Cannon will guide Twice as Sweet.
Return to Jan. 26 issue of Wire to Wire