Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 22, 2007 . . . Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and Derby runner-up Hard Spun will meet again in the Kentucky Cup Classic (G2) at Turfway Park next Saturday as both prepare for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic next month at Monmouth Park.
Carl Nafzger, who trains Street Sense, and Larry Jones, who trains Hard Spun, this morning confirmed with Turfway racing secretary Rick Leigh their intention to run in the Kentucky Cup Classic, the centerpiece of Turfway’s Kentucky Cup Day of Champions.
The two lead the list of 27 nominations to the Classic. Both will come into the race off Grade I wins, Street Sense in the Travers Stakes and Hard Spun in the Kings Bishop, both at Saratoga. The race covers 1 1/8 miles over Polytrack.
Street Sense has never won over Polytrack but has twice prepped on the surface before Grade I victories. Racing at Keeneland, he was second by a nose in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) before winning the 2007 Kentucky Derby and third in the Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity (G1) before winning the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Hard Spun has raced once over Polytrack, a dominating win in the 2007 Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway. Hard Spun was one of just two horses (Curlin was the other) to try all three Triple Crown races, finishing second in the Derby, third in the Preakness, and fourth in the Belmont.
Also included in the Kentucky Cup series are the Distaff (G3) (formerly the Turfway Breeders’ Cup) with 37 nominations; the Juvenile (G3) with 38 nominations; the Juvenile Fillies (listed) with 36 nominations; and the Sprint (G3) with 36 nominations. Jones has nominated Sweetdownthelane to the Distaff and De Star Xpress to the Juvenile Fillies. Nafzger has nominated Lady Joanne, winner of the Alabama (G1) to the Distaff. The Todd Pletcher juggernaut is well represented, with 16 horses nominated among the five races.
In its 13 runnings to date, the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions has produced six Breeders’ Cup winners and six winners of Eclipse awards, the "Oscars" of Thoroughbred racing.