Kentucky Turf Cup 2013 Contenders at Kentucky Downs

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup is on tap for this Saturday, September 14 from Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Kentucky. Horses three years old and upward will hit Kentucky Downs' turf track and race 1 1/4 miles for a purse of $300,000.

The Kentucky Turf Cup has attracted a field of nine to go in race 9 on Kentucky Downs Saturday card. Post time is 5:35 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all nine combatants for this Grade 3 stakes.

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2013 Kentucky Turf Cup Race Favorite Entries

Temeraine - most recently finished a respectable fifth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 17 after 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. He has just one other graded stakes start - an eleventh in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs in November. He will have the legendary Gary Stevens in the saddle as he steps back in company as the 3-1 favorite Saturday.

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 in the minor American St. Leger Stakes August 17. Najjaar will be looking for his first win this year, is 7-2 on the morning line and departs from post 4.

Kentucky Turf Cup 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Suntracer - multiple stakes winner has looked good in his last two starts - a pair of seconds including the minor American St. Leger Stakes last time out 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 goes off as the third choice on the morning line at 4-1 odds and breaks from the far outside post with Eddie Castro in the saddle.

Side Road - has raced just three graded stakes race for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin - a ninth in last year's Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, a good second in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland April 26 and a distant seventh June 8 in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Kentucky Downs. He had some success earlier this year in Allowance Optional Claiming races - four straight starts at Gulfstream produced a win March 30, a second February 17, a fifth and a seventh place finish. Last time out was a good second behind Bowling Green Handicap winner Hyper in the minor John`s Call Stakes at Saratoga July 31. Side Road is listed at 9-2 on the morning line as he departs from post 7.

Royal Bench - Irish trained gelding is coming off his best performance in quite some time - a win in the minor Cape Henlopen Stakes at this distance at Delaware Park August 21 after failing to hit the board in his previous two stakes starts. He has placed in just one of four starts in North America after four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 19 starts in Ireland. Saturday marks his graded stakes debut. Royal Bench is the co-fifth choice at 10-1 odds for the Kentucky Turf Cup.

Kentucky Turf Cup betting at Kentucky Downs with

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 last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Saratoga August 15. Olympic Thunder breaks from the rail at 10-1 odds Saturday.

Amen Kitten - Wesley Ward pupil has 13 starts with a win, four seconds and two third place finishes. Last time out was a sixth in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park after an OK third in the minor Kitten's Joy Stakes at Colonial Downs in July. Before that was a pair of seconds in Allowance races. In the spring Amen Kitten had a fifth in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, a sixth in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream March 3 after his only career victory - a Maiden Claiming at Gulfstream January 11. He is 12-1 on the morning line and will line up in post 3.

Whatthecatdrugin - Tevis McCauley trained gelding has looked very good the last 20 months in winning eight of 15 starts while finishing second five times and third once over that span. Most of those results were against lesser competition however - two seconds in stakes action earlier this summer were his best career results - the West Virginia Governor's Stakes August 3 and in the Independence Day Stakes July 2 - both results at Mountaineer . Last time out was a seventh in the minor Presque Isle Mile Stakes September 8 after yet another second in an Allowance on that same track in August. Saturday marks a huge step up in competition but Whatthecatdrugin looks ready - his is the co-longest shot in the field at 15-1 odds.

Potomac River - enters the Kentucky Turf Cup having won three of his last four starts (he only has four wins in 14 career starts). Sandwiched in there however is a fifth in his only stakes action this year - the minor West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker`s Cup. He is in career best form but takes an enormous leap up in competition Saturday. Despite some recent success Potomac River is still the longest shot in the field.

2013 Kentucky Turf Cup Entries & Odds

Race 9 on Kentucky Downs's Saturday card with a Post Time of 5:35 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Olympic Thunder (BRZ) A. Garcia K. McPeek
2 Whatthecatdrugin J. Court T. McCauley
3 Amen Kitten E. Baird W. Ward
4 Najjaar J. Graham D. Peitz
5 Royal Bench (IRE) R. Napravnik T. Voss
6 Potomac River J. Vargas S. Baez
7 Side Road C. Lanerie K. McLaughlin
8 Temeraine G. Stevens T. Proctor
9 Suntracer E. Castro C. Block

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