Thursday, September 16, 2004 12:00 AM
by Chad Summers
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 16, 2004 . . . The pieces of this year’s Kentucky Cup puzzle fell into place this afternoon as post positions for the five stakes races were drawn and morning line odds assigned. A look at the favorites and the fields:
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies
A competitive field of seven juvenile fillies will line up for the one-mile $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies on Saturday. Leading the field likely will be William Carl's Im a Dixie Girl. Trained by Bernie Flint, the daughter of Dixie Union enters this race off back-to-back stake races at Monmouth Park and River Downs. Installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite, she will break from the sixth post position under jockey Willie Martinez.
The field in order of post position: Jules Best (Rafael Bejarano); Wild as Elle (Mark Guidry); Victorious Halo (Dean Sarvis); Winning Season (Pat Day); Punch Appeal (Shane Sellers); I'm a Dixie Girl (Willie Martinez); Carmandia (Robby Albarado).
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (GIII)
Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas and Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day are the all-time leading trainer and rider, respectively, in Kentucky Cup history. The two have teamed up to win seven races in the last 10 years and will come together Saturday in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile with Storied Cat. The two-year-old son of Tale of the Cat will break from the outside post as the even money favorite. Owned by Clinton and Susan Atkins, Storied Cat has been among the leaders in all three of his previous starts and broke through with an impressive 3 1/4-length victory. This will be the first time any of the seven horses in the field will try the 1 1/16-mile distance.
The field in order of post position: Oro Bravo (Dean Sarvis); Greater Good (John McKee); United (John Velasquez); Norainonthisparty (Pat Johnson); Magna Graduate (Willie Martinez); Sequoia Grove (Robby Albarado); Storied Cat (Pat Day).
$350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (GII)
The 10 runnings of the 1 1/8-mile $350,000 Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic have sent some notable horses to the winner’s circle, among them Captain Steve, Silver Charm, Wild Rush, Thunder Gulch, and Tabasco Cat. On Saturday, Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May hopes to add his name to that quality list, and possibly challenge for an Eclipse Award as top older horse. Made the overwhelming 1-2 favorite in the field of six, the four-year-old son of Devil His Due will be going for his fifth consecutive victory, his third in graded company, and jockey John Velasquez will fly down from his New York base to take the mount for trainer Dale Romans.
The field in order of post position: Stratostar (John McKee); Adreamisborn (Russell Baze); Country Be Gold (Rafael Bejarano); Pie N Burger (Jamie Theroit); Roses in May (John Velasquez); Sonic West (Pat Day).
$175,000 Turfway Breeders Cup Stakes (GIII)
Perhaps the most intriguing race on the Kentucky Cup Card, the Grade III Turfway Breeders’ Cup drew a field of seven fillies and mares willing to contest the 1 1/16-mile race. All seven are stakes winners, including Grade I winner Mayo On the Side, who will be making her first start since a fourth-place finish on August 1 in the Go For Wand Stakes (GI) at Saratoga. Jockey Robby Albarado also will ship his tack to the Florence, Kentucky, track to take the mount. Mayo on the Side is the 5-2 favorite and will break from the second post.
The field in order of post position: Miss Fortunate (Shane Sellers); Mayo On the Side (Robby Albarado); Angela's Love (Mark Guidry); Our Josephina (John Velazquez); La Reason (Pat Day); Susan's Angel (Rafael Bejarano); Hippogator (Russell Baze).
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (GIII)
While the Kentucky Cup has produced several horses who have gone on to contend for the Breeders' Cup, no race has been more successful than the Kentucky Cup Sprint. In 2003 Cajun Beat won the Sprint at Turfway race and went on to Breeders' Cup victory, as Reraise did in 1998. The connections of the six three-year-olds in the six-furlong race hope the trend will continue.
Dogwood Stable's Heckle figures to take a lot of money at the windows in his second race back off a significant layoff. In his first career start the son of Hennessy tied a record for the fastest 4 1/2 furlongs in Keeneland history, completing the race in :51.04. He went on to win multiple stakes races as a two-year-old and was on the Kentucky Derby trail before an ankle injury forced him to undergo surgery. Jockey John Velasquez has the mount on Heckle, and will likely be right near a fast early pace from the outside post.
Horses in order of post position: Swift Attraction (Pat Day); Level Playingfield (John McKee); Silver Minister (Rafael Bejarano); Cuvee (Shane Sellers); Quick Action (Calvin Borel); Heckle (John Velasquez).
The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions begins at 1:10 p.m. ET on Saturday. Included on the 14-race card are four turf races signaled from Kentucky Downs. Gates open at 11:15 a.m.
For the second consecutive year, general admission and parking on Kentucky Cup Day are free. Reserved seats are available by calling 859-371-0200.