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Barn notes: Kentucky Cup

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 12:00 AM
  • Kentucky Cup
Full Classic headlines Kentucky Cup Day
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 13, 2005 . . . A full field is expected for the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park Saturday, with the focus sharpening on expected starters in all five races of the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, the centerpiece of the track’s fall meet.

Kentucky Cup Classic (G2)
Mambo Train has not won a race since the Turf Paradise Derby in February of 2004. Following that triumph came a stretch of uninspiring performances. But since Everest Stables Inc. transferred the 4-year-old Kingmambo colt to trainer Nick Canani two starts ago, Mambo Train has been gaining momentum. He finished third, beaten only a head, in the Grade II Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows on July 2 and came back to run a nice second behind Perfect Drift in the Grade II Washington Park Handicap on July 30 at Arlington Park. Now his sights are set on the Kentucky Cup Classic.

“He’s a good horse,” said Canani, whose father is California-based trainer Julio Canani. “It seems like he’s definitely blossoming right now. We’re definitely coming to Turfway with Mambo Train,” said Canani. Jesus Castanon has the mount.

Mambo Train showed his sharpness with a bullet work over Turfway’s Polytrack on Sunday, breezing 5 furlongs in 1:00 4/5. “I don’t know if that work shows that he loves the new Turfway surface, but he’s really doing good now,” continued Canani.

At Belmont Park on Monday, trainer Fabrice Chappet saw his charge Billy Allen (Ire) breeze an effortless three furlongs in :37.12 and declared him fit to run in the Classic. Larry Melancon will ride for Chappet.

Bob Baffert remains quiet about his plans for Senor Swinger and the Classic, although the turf specialist has been on the Turfway grounds since last Wednesday and is training well over the Polytrack surface. “He isn’t particular about what surface he trains on, but he’s particular about what surface he runs on,” said trainer John Good, a former Baffert assistant who is overseeing Senor Swinger’s care at Turfway.

Trainer Bobby Barnett confirmed Fantasticat for the Classic, with Craig Perret named to ride. Fantasticat breezed four furlongs in :48 flat at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning, second fastest of 36.

At Saratoga's Oklahoma Track on Monday, trainer Patrick Biancone readied possible Classic starter Ball Four with a five-furlong breeze on the grass in 1:02.25. Biancone expects also to bring Salford City (IRE) to the Classic, with Gary Stevens named to ride.

Kentucky Cup Juvenile (G3)
Juvenile probable Cab, who broke his maiden at Saratoga in his second start, got acquainted with Polytrack on Tuesday, breezing four furlongs in a bullet :47.60 for trainer Steve Asmussen. Patrick Valenzuela has been named on Cab.

Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies (listed)
Trainer Bob Holthus, who won both the Juvenile and the Sprint at last year’s Kentucky Cup, will bring only Beau Dare to this year’s card, but she could be the favorite in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. A daughter of Military, Beau Dare was so highly regarded by Holthus that he shipped her to Saratoga for her first-ever start, and though she was a bit green in that race, she came back as the odds-on favorite to win on the grass at Arlington Park in her second start. Holthus’ regular rider, John McKee, will have the mount on Beau Dare Saturday.

Trainer and co-owner Roger Anderson said he's leaning toward running Shezyou Brewing in the Juvenile Fillies.

"That's my intent," he stated after overseeing her work three furlongs in :36 4/5 at Turfway. "I'm thinking about leaving her up there and having her gallop one more day."

In her only race, Shezyou Brewing broke her maiden easily at Ellis Park, where she went five furlongs against softer company than she’ll see in Saturday’s one-mile Juvenile Fillies contest. Anderson is realistic about Shezyou Brewing's chances. "It's questionable that she can run a mile because I don't have enough background on her," he said. "Really and truly, I think she's got enough ability, but she's short on experience."

Anderson is impressed with the new surface at Turfway, but is cautious his horse may be at a slight disadvantage. "The track looks like it has some spring to it, but the horses that have been here [longer] probably have an advantage being over it," he said.

Claremont had her final preparations for the Juvenile Fillies Tuesday, breezing four furlongs in :48.80 at Churchill Downs for trainer Tom Amoss.

Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3)
According to Turfway’s stakes coordinator, Randy Wehrman, the Sprint field should have seven or eight starters, among them Caribbean Cruiser for trainer Gary Contessa, with Craig Perret to ride; Estate Collection for trainer Doug O’Neill, with Patrick Valenzuela to ride; Go For Aly for trainer Vincent White; Going Wild, trained by D. Wayne Lukas for Bob and Beverly Lewis; Lunarpal for trainer Steve Asmussen, with Mark Guidry to ride; Storm Surge for trainer Dallas Stewart, with Gary Stevens to ride; and Vicarage for trainer Todd Pletcher, with Rafael Bejarano to ride.

Turfway Breeders’ Cup (G3)
Bobby Barnett has chosen the Turfway Breeders’ Cup for Quick Temper, who breezed four furlongs in :48.20 at Church Tuesday morning. Patrick Valenzuela has the mount on Saturday.

Todd Pletcher expects to send Bohemian Lady to the Turfway Breeders’ Cup and has named Rafael Bejarano to ride.

Other likely starters in the 1 1/16 mile race with known riders include Josh’s Madelyn (Craig Perret), Miss Fortunate (Larry Melancon), Pleasant Home, Tango for Tips, Tempus Fugit, and Whoopi Cat (Gary Stevens).

The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions is scheduled for Saturday, September 17. The 14-race card includes four races simulcast from Kentucky Downs. First post is 1:10.

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