Monday, September 13, 2004 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, KY . . . Monday, September 13, 2004 . . . The fields for the five stakes races that comprise the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at Turfway Park are beginning to gel:
KENTUCKY CUP CLASSIC (GRADE II)
Last year’s winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic, Perfect Drift, will not return to defend his title, said trainer Murray Johnson. Johnson made the announcement this morning after Perfect Drift finished a 5-furlong work in 1:03 3/5 at Trackside in Louisville. Joe Deegan was aboard for the work.
“He went nice and relaxed,” Johnson said. “He has come out of his travels really well. The Kentucky Cup was definitely on our radar, but we want to go into his next two races fresh and ready to roll.”
The five-year-old gelding is likely for the Hawthorne Gold Cup (GII) at Hawthorne on October 2. If he does well, Johnson plans to take him back to the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Lone Star October 30.
Roses in May, who twice beat Perfect Drift this summer, will be in for the Classic, according to trainer Dale Romans. John Velasquez will have the mount.
Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin has nominated both Seattle Fitz (ARG) and Eye of the Tiger to the Classic and will make a decision after working both at Belmont tomorrow.
Adreamisborn, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is set for the Classic and will be ridden by Russell Baze.
Trainer Cole Norman will send Pie N Burger in the Classic, with Jamie Theriot to ride.
Colita was removed from the list of possible starters by trainer Todd Pletcher.
KENTUCKY CUP SPRINT (GRADE III)
With his recent suspension served, Steve Asmussen will again be listed as the trainer when Cuvee comes to the Sprint. Shane Sellers has been named to ride.
John Velasquez will ride Heckle for Todd Pletcher. The Sprint will be Heckle’s second start since undergoing surgery last summer to remove bone chips from his left front ankle. His first start back netted him a second-place finish in an allowance race at Saratoga on August 28.
Trainer Greg Foley will bring Silver Minister to the Sprint, with leading rider Rafael Bejarano scheduled to ride. Silver Minister won all three Turfway preps for the Lane’s End Stakes (GII) early this year before inexplicably finishing last in the Lane’s End in March. He returned to racing with a fifth-place finish at Ellis Park in early August.
Also scheduled to start are Intrinsic Worth, with Robby Albarado aboard for trainer Michael Stidham, and Level Playingfield, with John McKee up for trainer Robert Holthus. Holthus and McKee teamed up for two wins on Sunday at Turfway.
D. Wayne Lukas has Quick Action scheduled to start in the Sprint; he is undecided about his other nominee to the race, Swift Attraction.
KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE (GIII)
D. Wayne Lukas plans to send either Consolidator or Storied Cat to the gate for the Juvenile, and maybe both, said Turfway Stakes Coordinator Randy Wehrman.
Definite for the Juvenile are Greater Good for Robert Holthus, with John McKee named to ride, and Magna Graduate for trainer Garry Simms.
KENTUCKY CUP JUVENILE FILLIES
Trainer Bernard Flint will send either Im a Dixie Girl or Runway Model to the Juvenile Fillies on the 18th; the other will go to the Arlington-Washington Lassie (GIII) at Arlington the next day.
On the “definite” list for the Juvenile Fillies are Carmandia for trainer Carl Nafzger; Jules Best for trainer Vickie Foley; Punch Appeal for Steve Asmussen; Victorious Halo for Joseph Martin; and Winning Season for D. Wayne Lukas.
TURFWAY BREEDERS’ CUP (GIII)
Mayo on the Side is in for the Turfway Breeders’ Cup, according to Carl Nafzger’s assistant trainer. Robby Albarado is scheduled to ride.
Trainer William Connelly will send Fly Away Angel.
Dale Romans sends Angela’s Love, who won the Fairway Fun Stakes at Turfway in March.
In the Turfway Breeders’ Cup, Class Above returns to the scene of her victories in last year’s Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies and the 2004 Bourbonette Breeders’ Cup. Trained then by Bob Baffert, she now is under the care of Kiaran McLaughlin.
Jerry Hollendorfer will send Hippogator to the Turfway Breeders’ Cup, again naming Russell Baze to ride; Marwood, also nominated by Hollendorfer, will not run. The trainer plans to stable 20 to 26 horses at Turfway beginning with the Holiday Meet.
D. Wayne Lukas plans to send Susan’s Angel and has named Rafael Bejarano to ride.