Thursday, March 14, 2002

Day to ride Spiral contender

By Jack Murray
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, five-time winner of the Lane's End Spiral Stakes, will replace Brian Peck on probable favorite Request for Parole in the $500,000 Grade II Kentucky Derby prep race March 23 at Turfway Park.

        Peck rode Request for Parole to victories in the Battaglia Memorial and WEBN Frog Stakes at Turfway, but trainer Steve Margolis told the Daily Racing Form on Tuesday that the chance to get Day was too tempting. He compared the switch to trainer Ken McPeek dropping Northern Kentuckian Tony D'Amico for Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey on early Derby favorite Repent.

        “Brian hasn't done anything wrong with the horse,” Margolis said, “but ... you want the best possible rider. It's an advantage to have Pat Day.”

        D'Amico, who already has lost the mount on both Repent and Florida Derby contender Harlan's Holiday, also could be bumped from Perfect Drift, who finished a close second to Request for Parole in the Battaglia and who many feel could turn the tables in the 1-mile Spiral. Trainer Murray Johnson told DRF the owners of Perfect Drift were contemplating a change to a bigger-name rider for the Spiral.


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