Saturday, March 23, 2002

Turfway: Syndicate banks on My Man Ryan

Spiral long shot has 51 owners

By George Rorrer
Enquirer contributor

        FLORENCE — Most of the attention in today's $500,000 Grade II Lane's End Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park will be focused on rivals Request for Parole and Perfect Drift. But My Man Ryan, a horse with 51 owners, holds out hope of an upset.

        Request for Parole is the 8-5 morning line favorite to win the Spiral. He beat Perfect Drift in two Spiral prep races this winter — by a nose in the John Battaglia Memorial Stakes on March 2 and by 1 1/2 lengths in the WEBN Frog Stakes on Feb.2. Pat Day will ride Request for Parole.

        Perfect Drift, who won the Turfway Prevue Stakes on Jan.5, was made 3-1 third choice. He will be ridden by Californian Eddie Delahoussaye.

        Second choice is Saratoga Blues, 5-2, ridden by Mario Pino. The rest of the field of 8 3-year-olds: Straight Gin, 6-1, ridden by Jorge Chavez; Azillion, 8-1, ridden by Mike Smith; My Man Ryan, 15-1, ridden by Michael Luzzi; Gold Dollar, 20-1, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, and Benny the Hawk, 30-1, ridden by Brian Peck.

        My Man Ryan is owned by a syndicate, West Point Thoroughbreds, headed by Military Academy graduate Terrence J. Finley.

        The syndicate is on a roll, Finley said, and it's coming none too soon. “We're at the point where we need a big horse,” he said. “It's good that we're doing well, because it rewards the guys who have stuck with me.”

        “(Besides My Man Ryan) some of our other horses are doing well, too,” Finley said.

        In My Man Ryan's five starts this year, he has won twice, finished second twice and finished third once. “This is what we're in this for,” Finley said. “We want to ... see our horses run on television. Twelve or 13 of our partners are going to be in town for the Spiral. I don't think it's a stretch to see My Man Ryan winning the race.”

        First post is noon, the Spiral 5:02p.m. (ESPN2, tape, 6:30p.m.).

        If Perfect Drift wins, he would be the third Derby prospect lost by Northern Kentucky jockey Tony D'Amico. D'Amico was aboard Perfect Drift for his past four races and was the regular rider on two of the early Derby favorites, Repent and Harlan's Holiday, both trained by Ken McPeek.

        Jerry Bailey took over Repent and won the Louisiana Derby. Edgar Prado won the Florida Derby aboard Harlan's Holiday.


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