Friday, September 22, 2006 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 22, 2006 . . . The five races that will make up the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at Turfway Park on September 30 have once again drawn nominations from the nation's top trainers, and all but one drew more than their respective 2005 editions. This year's running is the 13th edition of the series.
The Grade II Classic, for horses three years old and up going 1 1/8 miles, drew 32 nominations, down slightly from 36 last year. Among those on the likely list are Murray Johnson's Perfect Drift, winner of this race in 2003; Anthony Reinstedler's Gouldings Green, who won the Turfway Park Fall Championship (G3) earlier this month; Rebecca Maker's It's No Joke, second in the Fall Championship; and Greeley's Galaxy, from the barn of Albert Stall.
The 1 1/16 mile Juvenile (G3) attracted 38 nominations, up from 30 in 2005, while the one-mile Juvenile Fillies jumped from 26 nominations last year to 41 this year. Beta Capo, trained by Scott Blasi; Shermanesque, trained by Anthony Reinstedler; Shore, trained by Steve Margolis; and Son of the West, trained by Patrick Byrne, are early probables in the Juvenile. Blasi's Kauai Calls, Margolis's Tough Apples, and Lucky Approval, from the barn of Hal Wiggins, are probable for the Juvenile Fillies.
The Turfway Breeders' Cup (G3), 1 1/16 miles for older fillies and mares, drew 43 nominations, up from 31 last year. Considered probable at this early point are La Reason, trained by Todd Pletcher, and Turfway's track record holder for the mile, Slew Peg, trained by Patrick Biancone.
Nominations to the Grade III Sprint increased to 30, six more than last year. Among probables at this early stage are Cognac Kisses, trained by Claude "Chip" Brownfield; Hallowed Flag, trained by Robert Holthus; Likely, also from the Biancone barn; and Dallas Stewart-trainee Mark of Success.
In its 12-year history, the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions has produced six Breeders' Cup winners, most recently Cajun Beat in the 2003 Sprint, and five who went on to win Eclipse awards.
Entries for the Kentucky Cup races will be drawn Wednesday, September 27.
First post on Kentucky Cup Day at Turfway is 1:10. p.m. ET. Gates open at 10 a.m.