Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Nomination Is In: September 26, 2009; The Kentucky Cup Classic Grade II at Turfway Park and Remembering El Prado and Kona Gold

That fine looking colt is none other then the only winner of the Grade II Lane's End and Kentucky Cup Classic, Hard Spun. Why is it relevant? The Turk's pre race chalk in today's Kentucky Cup Classic is Hold Me Back, the 2009 winner of the Grade II Lane's End.

We could start with the weather in Florence, or the track condition, but don't bother, the polytrack fake stuff is always listed as fast. I do dig the Turfway Park website very much, and I love Kentucky horse racing no matter if their own elected representatives are unprepared to level the playing field and allow race casino's. I digress and I'll surrender this type of dialog to serious media types who don't refer to themselves in the third person.

Turfway Park Race 13, Post Time 6:21 ET; The Kentucky Cup Classic Grade II; 1 1/8 miles on neither turf nor dirt for 3 YOs and up.

It's an interesting field and as I built my handicap it occurred to me that their is a stratification of quality horses here and then some field fillers that should start running 2 seconds earlier. With 10 cent super's available, my goal shifted to building my handicap to identify the layer, slot the horses as best as possible to avoid too many boxed combinations, and then roll the dice. Let's get after it.

Hold Me Back, and the effort he is coming in off of on sloppy dirt at Saratoga cannot be ignored. A Grade II winner at Turfway Park as I previously mentioned, a nice 5f at BEL in 1:00 flat signals current form hasn't regressed. The 3 YO is 4 of 4 in the money on synthetic. Trainer Mott and Jock Leparoux hit at 24% for the year. An iron pipe lock? Nope, but a good 40% chance to win and he'll headline most of the exotic combo's I'll assemble.

After Hold Me Back, I love the parity of the next four runners and I only see subtle shading between them. Dubious Miss has C. Borel up, and that horse/jock combo has been unbeatable. Coming in off a solid 2nd in a Grade II at Arlington at 1 3/16, expect to see the 5 YO gelding come off the pace instead of a run from the far back. 3 Of 4 in the money on Synthetic and owner of the race's best lifetime BSF on synth at 105, should be in the top 4 (I'll say that at least 4 more times).

Sligovitz, a Woodbine invader for trainer Attfield, is 8 of 8 on synthetic tracks and 13 of 17 lifetime in the money. Why is this horse here? Because a smart horseman looking at the conditions book thought he could win. I expect a top four finish.

Wicked Style and Furthest Land are in this repetitive "I think a top four finish" mix. Wicked Style will be more favored by the bettors then me, and it's not that I'm down on the 4 YO son of Macho Uno I just believe handicappers should take a firm opinion even when explaining uncertainty. Lots to like including a :48 sec 4f work this week at KEE. 5 of 6 lifteime in the money on synthetic and 5 of 6 overall in the money in 2009. If his running style holds, he'll strike to just off the leaders early on and his fortunes will be decided by the trip of others as much as his abilities. R. Albarado is up for Trainer Arnold today. Expect a mid 90's BSF and bottom of the top 4 or 5th.

Furthest Land is coming off a long layoff and has Garret Gomez up (It sorta worked on in the Woodbine Mile last week). Trainer Maker has supertrainer stats: 28% routes, 31% synthetics, 27% 61-180 day layoffs, and an ugh with graded stakes at 5% in 19 tries. Big fish, small tanks? Not an insult at all, just an observation. Nice training pattern punctuated with :59 5f efforts

I'm still mulling where Timeless Fashion plays with my handicap today. 6 of 6 on synth, 6 of 6 at TP, a capable ungraded stakes runner who will provide much of the pace and you never know where a horse like this will land when the blanket drops across the wire. Distance could be the issue.

I'd be remiss in not remembering two more fallen stars, El Prado and Kona Gold.

El Prado(Ire) in a John Kaiser photo.

Kona Gold in a James Shambhu photo.

Rest in Peace and your humans will see you at the Rainbow Bridge.

I'd also be remiss in not reminding readers of The Turk that there is some fantastic writing taking place in a build up towards the Breeders' Cup. Members of the Thorougbred Bloggers Alliance have divvied up the various racing divisions to bring the readers individual analysis of each of the Breeders' Cup races. This is an exciting development for the Thorughbred Bloggers Allance, of which the Turk is a proud member of, so if you are passionate about horse racing, and I know you are because you're reading this, check out this link for the TBA Blogs at the NTRA website building towards the Breeders' Cup.

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