Las Vegas, NV - Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky will play host to the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes this Thursday, October 17. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/2 miles on Keeneland's turf track chasing the winner's share of the $100,000 purse.
A field of nine has been confirmed for the Sycamore - race 8 on Keeneland's Thursday card. Post time is 4:49 PM. Here is a brief look into the past performances of all nine entries for this Grade 3 stakes.
Nutello - made his North American debut August 18 and finished a very good third right behind Twilight Eclipse and Big Blue Kitten in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17 after 13 starts overseas resulted in five wins and two third place finishes - one of those thirds being in last year's Prix du Jockey Grade 1 Club-French Derby. Last time out was a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 28. His last win came in April at Toulouse. Nutello will be hoping for a strong bounce back Thursday and goes off at 7-2 odds from post 8.
Rahystrada placed in his first five starts in 2012 - three third place finishes including last year`s Arlington Millions and behind Turbo Compressor and Air Support in the Colonial Turf Cup. He also had a win over Temeraine in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap on July 14 and a good second in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes at Kentucky Downs September 15 last year. He ended 2012 with a fourth in the 2012 version of this race in October and was away for nearly seven months before a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Churchill Dows May 2. He looked terrific two starts back - his repeat win in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap July 13 after a fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes June 9 but most recently recorded his career-worst effort - an eleventh in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 17. Rahystrata hopes to rediscover the Arlington Handicap form and is listed at 4-1 odds for the Sycamore with Leandro Goncalves in the reigns.
Temeraine - is coming off his best career win in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup September 14 after a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 17, a very nice second behind Rahystrata in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap and three straight Allowance Optional Claiming races - one of them producing a win March 27 for trainer Tom Proctor. His other graded stakes start was an eleventh in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. But Temeraine has looked very good the last three months and rides a huge wave of confidence into the Sycamore. Termeraine is the 123 highweight and goes off as the co-second choice at 4-1 odds from post 3 with David Flores aboard.
Tricky Hat - Chilean bred Shug McGaughey trained gelding races in graded stakes company for the first time Thursday but is riding a two race win streak - the minor Laurel Turf Cup last time out September 21 ad an Allowance Optional Claiming August 4 at Saratoga. He has two wins and two seconds in six starts this year and has four wins and three thirds in 10 career starts. Tricky Hat will have the terrific Rosie Napravnik in the saddle at 5-1 odds and departs from the far outside post.
Reflecting - Shug McGaughey trained colt has 14 career starts with three wins, a second and three third place finishes. He has just one graded stakes start - a fifth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn here in April and has since been a tad up and down - a fifth in the minor Good Reward Stakes, a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming and a respectable second last time out in the PTHA President's Cup Stakes at Parx September 14. Reflecting departs from post 2 at 5-1 odds Thursday.
Olympic Thunder - Brazilian bred Kenneth McPeek trainee had three wins (multiple group 1 scores), a second and two third place finishes in Brazil before shipping to North America. He debuted here July 13 and finished fourth in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes at Colonial Downs after nearly a year away and followed that with a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga August 15. Last time out he proved that he is a contender in North America - he finished second behind Temeraine in the Grade 2 Kentucky Turf Cup September 14. Olympic Thunder is listed at 8-1 odds and breaks from post 4.
Suntracer - multiple stakes winner has looked good in his last three starts - a third last time out behind Temeraine and Olympic Thunder in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup followed a pair of seconds including the minor American St. Leger Stakes and the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes (a race that he finished third in 2012) July 13 - both results at Arlington Park. Before that was a pair of fourths. Suntracer was at his best this time last year when he recorded two straight minor stakes wins - the Illinois Owners Stakes and the Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap. He will be looking for his first win this year and his first graded stakes score ever. He leaves from post 5 at 8-1 odds.
Eagle Poise - finished sixth in the 2011 version of this race and has had some good career results - a win in the Grade 3 Valedictory Stakes at Woodbine December 4, 2011 being the highlight. In 2012 re was lightly raced but had a good second in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano in between fifth place finished in graded stakes action. He returned to the track August 25 after nearly a year away and finished third in the minor Idle Rich Stakes at Saratoga and last time out was second in the Laurel Turf Cup September 21. Eagle Poise departs from the inside post at 12-1 odds in the Sycamore.
Najjaar - Daniel Peitz trained colt has two wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 15 career starts but is winless in 2013. He did have an OK third in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap in May for his best result this year but has since finished fourth in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap July 13 and third last time out behind Suntracer and is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds from post 7.
Race 8 on Keeneland's Thursday card with a Post Time of 4:49 PM.
||J. Rocco, Jr.
||C. McGaughey III
||Olympic Thunder (BRZ)
||Tricky Hat (CHI)
||C. McGaughey III