Kentucky Turf Cup 2014 at Kentucky Downs

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Kentucky Downs plays host to the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes on Saturday, September 13. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the nice $600,000 purse when they go 1 1/2 miles in Kentucky Downs turf track.

A well matched field of 11 have been confirmed for the Turf Cup - race 9 on Kentucky Downs Saturday card. Post time is 5:35 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 11 entries for this lucrative Grade 3 stakes.

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2014 Kentucky Turf Cup Race Favorite Entries

War Dancer - Kenneth McPeek trained colt has 15 career starts with four wins, three seconds and two third place finishes. He had a respectable third in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes May 3, 2013 and won the Grade 2 Virginia Derby July 13 of last year. In 2014 War Dancer has six starts with varying results - a seventh in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes and a sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming March 1 started his year off slowly. But he has come around of late - a third behind Finnegan's Wake in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap followed a nice win in the 1 1/2 mile Grade 3 Louisville Handicap May 24 and a good second in the Grade 2 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes in April. Last time out was an OK fourth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga August 17. Alan Garcia will be in charge as War Dancer looks to bounce back from gate 3.

Suntracer - multiple stakes winner finished third in the 2013 Kentucky Turf Cup and has been up and down since. For example - last time out was a ninth in the minor American St. Leger Stakes at Arlington August 16 after a third in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes in July and a second behind War Dancer in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap in May. He's tough to figure out ahead of this weekend but should be in the mix. Florent Geroux gets the call from gate 5.

Kentucky Turf Cup 2014 | Remaining Contenders

Tricky Hat - Chilean born Shug McGaughey trained gelding hadn't looked good before a nice win in the minor John's Call Stakes at Saratoga August 6. Before that was an ugly fourteenth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Stakes after a fifth in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes in April He has 15 career starts with five wins, a second and four third place finishes. Tricky Hat will look to keep his turnaround going with Rosie Napravnik in the irons from post 7.

Holiday Star - H Graham Motion trained gelding has 11 career starts with three wins a second and a third place finish. He has a win, a second and a third in four starts this year - a second last time out behind Tricky Hat in the minor John's Call Stakes August 6, a third in the minor Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware Park July 12 and an Allowance score in May. His only two graded stakes results were a ninth and an eighth place finish back in 2013. Holiday Star has seemed to find a home at longer distances on turf and leaves from post 4 with Edgar Prado in the saddle.

Saffron Hall - Michael Maker trained gelding enters on a two race win streak - an Allowance Optional Claiming last time out with an impressive Beyer Speed Figure of 103 at this distance at Saratoga July 25 after an Allowance score in May. Saffron Hall has 15 career starts with seven wins, three seconds and a third place finish but races in stakes company for the first time Saturday. Rafael Bejarano will be in the reins from post 8.

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Pyrite Mountain - has placed in his last five starts overall for trainer Todd Pletcher - three straight seconds in Allowance company heading into this race. Notable results include a third in the Grade 3 Ontario Derby last September and a third in the Breeders' Stakes. He also won the Kingarvie Stakes in November, 2012. He has 12 career starts with just two wins but five seconds and two third place finishes. Julien Leparoux has the mount from post 2.

O'Prado Ole - has 11 career starts for trainer Dale Romans with two wins, a second and two third place finishes. He is coming off a sixth in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga August 17 after a good second in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes July 12 and consecutive fifths in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Churchill Downs. He has yet to win in graded stakes company but came close two back. Corey Lanerie rides from post 10.

Olympic Thunder - finished second in this race last year from trainer Kenneth McPeek but hasn't been great since. Last time out was a sixth in the minor Edward J. Debartolo Handicap after another sixth in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington Park in July. He has just three wins in 21 career starts and leaves from gate 9 with Chris Landeros aboard.

Cozy Kitten - finished seventh in this race in 2011 and has been OK since. He is coming off a Claiming score after a third in a similar race at Saratoga last month. He hasn't started a stakes race since an eighth in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida in February. Cozy Kitten has 11 starts in 2014 already with two wins and three third place finishes and isn't expected to do much. Robby Albarado has the mount from post 6.

Layton Register - has 17 career starts with just two wins, three seconds and two third place finishes bust hasn't been great lately - an eighth last time out in an Allowance at Del Mar August 17 after a fifth in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap July 25 and a disappointing sixth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Arlington June 19. He finished eleventh in this race last year and besides an Allowance score in May has struggled. Brice Blanc in the irons from post 11.

Fear the Kitten - Michael Maker trained colt failed to place fin his last nine starts of 2013 - all stakes races. He has concentrated on Allowance races this year - six starts with two second and a third place finish. Not a whole lot is expected - Rafael Monjica Jr rides from the rail.

2014 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 Fear the Kitten R. Mojica, Jr. M. Maker
2 Pyrite Mountain J. Leparoux T. Pletcher
3 War Dancer A. Garcia K. McPeek
4 Holiday Star E. Prado H. Motion
5 Suntracer F. Geroux C. Block
6 Cozy Kitten R. Albarado M. Maker
7 Tricky Hat (CHI) R. Napravnik C. McGaughey III
8 Saffron Hall R. Bejarano M. Maker
9 Olympic Thunder (BRZ) C. Landeros K. McPeek
10 O'Prado Ole C. Lanerie D. Romans
11 Layton Register B. Blanc P. Oliver

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