Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:00 AM
KENTUCKY CUP CLASSIC
Perfect Drift “couldn’t be better”
“He handled Mineshaft just fine in the Stephen Foster,” said Murray Johnson of Perfect Drift, discussing the expected matchup between his 4-year-old gelding and Bob Baffert’s Congaree in the Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park this Saturday. “We’ll be in that kind of company, and he [and Congaree] run the same sort of style. He had a good, strong gallop today, and he couldn’t be better.” Johnson said the Kentucky Cup has been in his plans for Perfect Drift all along. “We’re happy to be coming back. We’ve got a few things in our favor.”
One of those things is Pat Day, who is right at home on the Turfway track and was also aboard for Perfect Drift’s victory in the Grade I Stephen Foster. Perfect Drift’s last workout was Sunday, when he went 5 furlongs in :59.2.
Baffert offers his take on Congaree’s competition
“I wish that Aussie would learn how to read a condition book,” trainer Bob Baffert said this morning at Keeneland, tongue firmly planted in cheek. “Then he’d be running at Hawthorne.” Baffert was discussing Murray Johnson and Perfect Drift, the Stonecrest Farm gelding expected to threaten Congaree in the Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic this Saturday. “I didn’t want Crafty Shaw in there either. I wanted this to be an easy race for my horse.” Edgar Prado has the mount. Congaree carries the high weight at 124.
M B Sea moving well
Michael J. Burder’s Classic hopeful M B Sea worked a half at Churchill Downs this morning under the watchful eye of trainer Dale Romans. “He went good,” Romans said. “He went a half in :50. Cornelio Velasquez is going to ride him.”
KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE
Baffert says Keeneland for Consecrate
Trainer Bob Baffert confirmed today that Consecrate will run at Keeneland instead of in the Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile this Saturday at Turfway Park.
KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE FILLIES
Everyday Angel ailing, Class Above benefits
Everyday Angel, Patrick Byrne’s strong nomination to the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies contest, will not be bringing her speed to Turfway Park this Saturday. An unspecified illness is keeping her home, Byrne confirmed today.
That unexpected turn of events will no doubt please Bob Baffert, who earlier today said, “I’m planning to run Class Above in the Juvenile Fillies even though I don’t really want to run against Everyday Angel.” Edgar Prado will ride Class Above.
Sweet Jo Jo stepping up
Trainer Steve Asmussen is confident Sweet Jo Jo will run well against her competition in the Kentucky Juvenile Fillies September 13. “It’s a step up for her and she’s training great,” he said. The filly is moving up to route distance from wins at 5, 5 1/2, and 7 furlongs. In her last outing, the $100,000 Anna M. Fischer at Ellis Park, she was first to Renaissance Lady’s place and Cedar Summer’s show, two rivals she’ll meet again on Saturday.
KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE SPRINT
Champali got a strong vote of confidence from trainer Greg Foley, who reported the colt did a half-mile this morning in :47 flat. “He’s going in good to the race and he’ll be hard to beat,” said Foley. “He’s coming off a break and I want to get a race under him.” The son of Glitterman is dropping back to sprint distance after a win at a mile in the Northern Dancer at Churchill Downs and a fourth place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Iowa Derby.
Cat Genius returns
The Grade III Kentucky Cup Juvenile Sprint on September 13 will be the first start for Cat Genius since his fourth-place finish in the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs in May. Trainer Tom Amoss has put him back to sprint distance. “He’s been successful at this distance,” he said, “and he’s working fine. We breezed him this morning, the typical blowout, and he went well.” Cat Genius will ship in to Turfway Park on Saturday.
Pletcher not sure about Pick ‘em
“I haven’t decided about running Pick ‘em in the Sprint,” Todd Pletcher said today. “We’ll have to wait and see.” The trainer, in Keeneland for the Yearling Sale, nominated both Bishop Court Hill and Pick ‘em to the Grade III Kentucky Cup Sprint this Saturday at Turfway Park, but only the latter has been moved up to probable.
TURFWAY BREEDERS’ CUP
McPeek to decide Friday
Ken McPeek will decide on Friday whether Hi Tech Honeycomb will indeed return to the dirt in Saturday’s Grade III Turfway Breeders’ Cup at Turfway Park. The 4-year-old filly is cross-entered in the Pleasant Temper Stakes, on the turf at Kentucky Downs.
Smok’n Frolic a definite yes
Trainer Todd Pletcher, attending the Keeneland Yearling Sale fresh off a record-breaking meeting at Saratoga, indicated this morning that Smok’n Frolic is a definite for the Turfway Breeders’ Cup. “She’ll run for sure,” he said.