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Kentucky Cup fields set and ready

Friday, September 16, 2005 12:00 AM
  • Kentucky Cup
(Edited for space)FLORENCE, KY . . . September 16, 2005 . . . Fields for the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions were finalized today, and while Todd Pletcher ended atop the morning line in every race he entered, the races overall look to provide bettors with a challenge.

“Polytrack plays so evenly that it wasn’t really a factor in making the morning line,” said Turfway oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. “I took it into consideration in the sense that it brought the turf and dirt horses closer together, and it put the turf horses on a more equal footing with the dirt horses. I did look for who worked well over Polytrack.”

Kentucky Cup Classic (G2)
Ten horses will line up for the 12th running of the Kentucky Cup Classic, six of them last-out winners.

Topping the list is morning-line 5-2 favorite Shaniko, trained by Todd Pletcher for Aaron and Marie Jones. The four-year-old son of A.P. Indy comes in off a dominating 11-length win in a Saratoga allowance race at this distance and will be looking for his first stakes victory this Saturday. Jockey Rafael Bejarano will ride for the first time.

Another entry coming off an impressive victory is Michael Bruder's M B Sea, a multiple stakes winner for trainer Dale Romans. In his last start on August 14, he took the West Virginia Governors' Stakes by seven lengths with Mark Guidry aboard. Guidry again has the call on Saturday.

Grand Reward carries the hopes of owners Bob and Beverly Lewis and an illustrious pedigree into the Classic. A son of Storm Cat out of the champion mare Serena’s Song, Grand Reward earned a hard-fought win in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in April. Jockey John McKee is back aboard on Saturday for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

The Classic field in post position order with morning line and riders: Silver Axe (5-1, Craig Perret); Shaniko (5-2, Rafael Bejarano); Billy Allen (IRE) (20-1, Larry Melancon); One Nice Cat (30-1, Jesus Castanon); Cat Shaker (50-1, Calvin Borel); Ball Four (12-1, Julien Leparoux); Salford City (IRE) (4-1, Gary Stevens); Grand Reward (5-1, John McKee); Absent Friend (8-1, Patrick Valenzuela); M B Sea (7-2, Mark Guidry).

Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3)
One trainer excited about running on Turfway’s Polytrack is Patrick Biancone, who will saddle likely Juvenile favorite Stream Cat. The two-year-old son of Black Minnalouse broke his maiden in the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, winning by 1 1/2 lengths under jockey Gary Stevens. Although that race was on grass, Biancone is confident his horse will take to the Turfway track. “I will not know for sure until they run the race," Biancone said. "But he is training well and I am excited to go down there and hopefully he will run his race." Stevens again has the mount.

Catcominatcha and Deputy G finished second and third, respectively, in the Ellis Juvenile at Ellis Park on August 20. Deputy G already boasts a graded stakes win, the Grade III Bashford Manor at Churchill Downs, for trainer David Pate. Both horses will be armed with new jockeys in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile and will attempt two turns for the first time.

The field for the Kentucky Cup Juvenile in post position order: Stream Cat (3-1, Gary Stevens); Catcominatcha (4-1, Rafael Bejarano); He's a Dixie Boy (10-1, Craig Perret); Deputy G (3-1, John McKee); Short Circuit (15-1, Mark Guidry); Rungius (15-1, Jesus Castanon); Cab (5-2, Patrick Valenzuela); Raywick (30-1, Rodney Prescott); Devilofarush (15-1, Calvin Borel).

Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies (listed)
The $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies attracted a field of 10 for the two-turn, one-mile event.

Among those to watch is Tracy Farmer's Claremont. One of the most accomplished fillies in the field, Claremont finished second last time out in just her second career start, the Anna M. Fisher Debutante at Ellis Park on August 20. Trainer Tom Amoss hopes Kentucky Cup Day will be as kind to her as it was to her sire, 2000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile winner and 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given. Rafael Bejarano rides for the first time.

Trainer Bob Holthus enjoyed three wins on the 2004 Kentucky Cup card, including two stakes. This year he again runs three, including Walts David Stable LLC's Beau Dare in the Juvenile Fillies. After she ran a green fourth at Saratoga in her first race, Holthus sent her to Arlington Park for a maiden mile on the grass. The two-year-old daughter of Military certainly immediately sprang for the lead and cruised to a 2 3/4 win in 1:36.54 under jockey John McKee. McKee has the mount again.

The Juvenile Fillies field in post position order:
Fast Deal (3-1, Gary Stevens); Mimosa Mist (12-1, Bill Troilo); Golden Kiss (50-1, Jesus Castenon); Joint Effort (5-2, Mark Guidry); We Will Dance (12-1, Willie Martinez); Shezyou Brewing (20-1, Larry Melancon); Beau Dare (7-2, John McKee); Sanguinity (50-1, Calvin Borel); Delicate Dynamite 5-1, (Patrick Valenzuela); Claremont (5-1, Rafael Bejarano).

Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3)
The Kentucky Cup Sprint has had an impact on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships in recent years, producing Sprint winners in 1998 (Reraise) and 2003 (Cajun Beat). For three-year-olds going six furlongs, this year’s Kentucky Cup Sprint has drawn a competitive field of seven.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Vicarage was a runner-up in the Louisiana Derby in March and generated some Derby talk, but Pletcher chose the sprinter’s path instead. After some time off, Vicarage won the Smoke Glacken Stakes at Belmont in July and followed with a sixth-place finish in the Grade II Amsterdam at Saratoga. Rafael Bejarano rides. Vicarage is 2-1 on the morning line.

While Doug O’Neill may be unfamiliar to Turfway regulars, he has made a name for himself at the Southern California tracks. He ships in Estate Collection, who has won both career starts, to the Sprint. Claimed by O'Neill after his first start at Del Mar, Estate Collection won his next start by five lengths in a fast 1:08.95 with Patrick Valenzuela in the irons. Valenzuela has the mount again in the Kentucky Cup Sprint.

The Sprint field in order of post position is: Go For Aly (50-1, Dane Kobiskie); Storm Surge (3-1, Gary Stevens); Lunarpal (4-1, Mark Guidry); Humor at Last (15-1, Larry Sterling Jr.); Going Wild (8-1, John McKee); Vicarage (2-1, Rafael Bejarano); Estate Collection (5-2, Patrick Valenzuela).

Turfway Breeders’ Cup (G3)
The Turfway Breeders' Cup, run at 1 1/16 miles, has attracted 10, led by graded stakes winners Bohemian Lady and Josh's Madelyn.

Trainer Todd Pletcher won this race in 2003 with Smok’n Frolic and will attempt to repeat this year with Padua Stables' Bohemian Lady, 3-1 on the morning line. The four-year-old daughter of Carson City came off a three-month layoff to win by six in her most recent start, an allowance race at Saratoga, and already has a Grade III win, the 2004 Cicada at Aqueduct. She is graded stakes-placed this year, with a third in the Shuvee Handicap at Belmont two starts ago.

Josh's Madelyn has not won since the Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland last October, but since then she has run six times at six different tracks against notably tough competition, including Madcap Escapade and Halory Leigh. Saturday will be her seventh consecutive track change but if she can run to the form she showed last October trainer Larry Jones and new jockey Craig Perret may be in for a big run.

The Turfway Breeders’ Cup field in order of post-position: Miss Fortunate (5-1, Larry Melancon); Tango for Tips (30-1, John McKee); Bohemian Lady (3-1, Rafael Bejarano); Sheer Luck (12-1, Calvin Borel); Quick Temper (10-1, Patrick Valenzuela); Tempus Fugit (4-1, Jesus Castanon); My Ro (9-2, Mark Guidry); Whoopi Cat (10-1, Gary Stevens); Josh's Madelyn (6-1, Craig Perret); Winning Season (15-1, Brian Peck).

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