Saturday, September 24, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Sept. 24, 2011 – Future Prospect turned in a stunning front-running effort to upset the $200,000 WinStar Kentucky Cup (G2) at Turfway Park Saturday, paying off at 18-1 and rewarding two years of patient rehabilitation by owner/trainer Dodson Skaggs.
Breaking from post six, the 7-year-old gelding was out of the gate first. Strike Impact, who broke from post two, got to the quarter-mile timer ahead of him and set that mark in :24.47, but after that the race was all about Future Prospect. With Edgar Prado in the irons and under pressure throughout, Future Prospect set the half in :47.97 and the six-furlong mark in 1:11.82 before coming home in 1:44.71. General Quarters, who had been close up throughout the race, finished three-quarters of a length back in second after a very game effort to stay with the winner. Demarcation closed to be third, another six lengths back. The race covered 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack.
"He was ready to go. He was warming up beautifully. Around the backside he was pretty much in command. I just had to wait as long as I could, but when I turned him loose, he responded. My horse was really trying in the stretch. I was very excited about that," said Prado, who sought the mount on the recommendation of Manoel Cruz. Cruz had ridden Future Prospect to an earlier win at Churchill Downs but was unavailable Saturday.
Future Prospect raced once as a 2-year-old but then did not race again until the spring of 2008 as a 4-year-old. He earned three wins from eight starts that year and then hit his stride in 2009, scoring in six of 12 races, winning a stake apiece at Saratoga and Belmont, and finishing second in two other stakes. Then a pulled suspensory ligament put him out of commission for 17 months. He returned to racing in March of this year, winning at Turfway in his first start back. After two off-the-board finishes and a third, he won three straight before returning to Turfway to make it four in a row with the WinStar Kentucky Cup.
"He'll run all over the place," said Skaggs. "He's run at seven different tracks and he's run well at all of them. He doesn't have to take his track or his jockey with him. He's going good right now and that’s the time to step up and take a chance."
Asked about Breeders’ Cup plans for his comeback gelding, Skaggs said, "I don't know what we'll do next. We’ll see how the horse comes back. I might look at those races; he's Breeders' Cup nominated. But I'm not sure if we’ll take a shot or not."
Fourth and following in the WinStar Kentucky Cup were Workin for Hops, the 2-1 favorite Baryshnikov, Strike Impact, Havelock, and Shediak (FR).
Future Prospect rewarded his backers with $38.40 for the win, $15.80 to place, and $9.60 to show.
By Freud out of Devil's Waltz, by Marshua's Dancer, Future Prospect was bred in New York and was therefore ineligible for the $50,000 of the WinStar Kentucky Cup purse provided by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund. His career earnings stand at $475,263, and he has 14 wins, three seconds, and two thirds in 29 lifetime starts.