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Kentucky Cup Day of Champions draws strong nominees

Saturday, September 10, 2005 12:00 AM
  • Kentucky Cup
FLORENCE, KY . . . September 10, 2005 . . . Some of the most successful trainers in Thoroughbred racing have nominated horses to the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions at Turfway Park September 17. This year’s running, the 12th, will be the first run over the track’s newly installed Polytrack surface.

Headlining the five-race series is the Grade II Kentucky Cup Classic. Todd Pletcher, whose Flower Alley won the Grade II Lane’s End Stakes at Turfway last spring and the Grade I Travers Stakes at Saratoga last month, has nominated Shaniko, a late scratch from today’s Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park. Also on the Classic list for Pletcher are Limehouse and West Virginia.

Bob Baffert has three on the Classic list, including Roman Ruler and Bob and Beverly Lewis’s Chips Are Down and Senor Swinger, the latter a graded stakes winner on the turf. Nick Zito has nominated three, including Royal Assault for owner Tracy Farmer, and Patrick Biancone has nominated Ball Four for the team of Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith as well as the Irish-bred Salford City. Also represented among Classic nominations are runners from the barns of Dale Romans, whose Roses in May won the Classic last year, Cole Norman, whose Pie ‘n’ Burger was second last year, D. Wayne Lukas, and Claude “Shug” McGaughey III. Altogether, 26 trainers have nominated 36 horses to the Classic, double the nominations to last year’s race.

Kentucky Cup Day also offers the Juvenile, the Sprint, and the Turfway Breeders’ Cup, all Grade III, as well as the Juvenile Fillies, a listed stakes race. Purses for the series total $825,000, led by the $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic. The Kentucky Cup Day of Champions has proven to be a significant step on the way to the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships held annually in October. Since 1994, the series has prepped six Breeders’ Cup winners and five horses who went on to take Eclipse Award honors for the year.

The full list of nominations to all five Kentucky Cup races is available online at


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