Friday, September 25, 2009 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 25, 2009 . . . Although nothing is certain until the horses break the gate, on Friday afternoon no changes appeared forthcoming in the fields for the Kentucky Cup Classic (G2), Distaff (G3), and Sprint (G3) at Turfway Park Saturday.
Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3)
Turfiste will try to add the Sprint to his victory in the Hansel Stakes at Turfway this spring and pick up his first graded win in the process. "He ran good this spring," said trainer Bob Holthus. "We tried him going long several times, got him stretched out, but he didn't seem to care for it, so we're shortening him back up."
One of those routes was the American Turf Stakes (G3) at Churchill in May. Turfiste took the early lead, couldn't maintain the pace, but stayed a stubborn third, beaten just 2 1/2 lengths.
"He has tremendous early speed, so we're hoping he will rate," said Holthus. "That will be up to [jockey] Julien [Leparoux]. In his last race [third in a six-furlong allowance at Turfway] he went [the half mile] in 44, so we're hoping Julien can slow him down a little."
Turfiste has never missed the money in four starts on all-weather surfaces, including two wins.
Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3)
The rail post drawn by Unforgotten in the Distaff does not concern trainer Dallas Stewart. "She'll take back and make one big run anyway," he said. "She's a very nice filly. Her last race [sixth in the Gardenia (G3) at Ellis Park], she didn't seem to care for the track. She's been an honest and solid filly for us, and she runs well on the Polytrack."
Unforgotten has run in stakes and graded stakes in her seven starts this year and has two seconds, most recently in the Chicago Handicap (G3) in July, and one third. With eight lifetime tries on all-weather surfaces, she has one win, three seconds, and three thirds. Calvin Borel will be up on Saturday.
Author Billy Ashabraner, a self-described "big time gambler" who became a "small time trainer" and horse owner, will be at Turfway Saturday to sign his book Insights into Racing: Explaining the Winning Game. After years of playing races, Ashabraner initially mucked stalls and rubbed horses without pay to learn training from the inside out and then went on to race primarily on the Kentucky circuit with occasional forays north and south. The book will be available in the Turfway Park gift shop in the lobby of the paddock entrance, and Ashabraner will sign from noon to 4pm.
College Scholarship Day
Also on Saturday, Turfway joins the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association to present the track's 5th annual College Scholarship Day. Ten students will win scholarships of $1,000 each, awarded by random drawing. The first 500 students to register will receive a free t-shirt, courtesy of All Pro Championships, and five will win iPods provided by Walmart. Further support is provided by Ziegler & Schneider PSC, sponsor of the College Zone tent, and Monster Energy.
To be eligible, students must be enrolled full-time for the 2009 fall semester, present a current college ID, and be present to win. Registration begins at noon. Further details and official rules are available at www.turfway.com.
General admission is free on Kentucky Cup Day. Reserved seating is available from $5 to $100. First post is 1:10pm.