2021 Calumet Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs

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Kentucky Downs Press Release
Updated: September 08, 2021

Calumet Turf Cup is a "Win And You're In" qualifier for Breeders' Cup Turf

Calumet Farm's trainer Jack Sisterson is looking forward to the distinctive all-turf FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs .

Since he was hired as Calumet's private trainer in May 2018, Sisterson has increased his involvement at Kentucky Downs. He had two starters that first year, seven in 2019 and 10 last year. As this meet approached, Sisterson said Calumet would be well-represented in stakes - including G1 Man o' War winner Channel Cat in the $1 million, Grade 2 Calumet Turf Cup - and overnight races.

The Calumet Turf Cup is set for race 9 on the card, the race shares the spotlight with 6 other stakes making for a massive day of racing. Post time for the race is 5:44 PM Eastern.

2021 Calumet Turf Cup Field & Odds

Race 9 at Kentucky Downs on Saturday, September 11 - Post 5:44 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Imperador (ARG) 15-1 Joseph Talamo
122 Lbs
Paulo Lobo
2 Crossfirehurricane 20-1 Flavien Prat
122 Lbs
Michael McCarthy
3 Channel Cat 9-2 John Velazquez
124 Lbs
Jack Sisterson
4 Tide of the Sea 6-1 Luis Saez
124 Lbs
Michael Maker
5 Arklow 3-1 Florent Geroux
124 Lbs
Brad Cox
6 Bluegrass Parkway 20-1 Julien Leparoux
124 Lbs
Michael Maker
7 Fantasioso (ARG) 12-1 Umberto Rispoli
122 Lbs
Ignacio Correas, IV
8 Ajourneytofreedom 10-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
124 Lbs
Michael Maker
9 Glynn County 15-1 Tyler Gaffalione
124 Lbs
Michael Maker
10 Epic Bromance 15-1 Joe Bravo
122 Lbs
J. Sweezey
11 Zulu Alpha 6-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr.
122 Lbs
Michael Maker
12 Breakpoint (CHI) 20-1 Jose Ortiz
122 Lbs
Steven Asmussen
13 Big Dreaming 20-1 Corey Lanerie
122 Lbs
Wayne Catalano
14 Artemus Eagle 30-1 Chase Miller
122 Lbs
Waylon Cundiff
15 Dynadrive 20-1 Jose Ortiz
122 Lbs
Michael Maker
16 Time for Trouble 30-1 John McKee
122 Lbs
Jeff Hiles

Sisterson, who is still looking for his first win at the track, said that Kentucky Downs is a refreshing change of pace from typical American racing and fits the Calumet program. As an aside, Calumet Farm owner Brad Kelley, who grew up in Simpson County, also owned Kentucky Downs in partnership and then outright from 1997-2007. Among Calumet Farm's stallions is 2007 male turf champion English Channel.

"Well, it's obviously intriguing because we have a lot of horses that are bred to run on the grass," Sisterson said. "We have a lot of English Channels because he stands at Calumet and they really seem to take to that configuration. It is quite refreshing to go down there for a week of racing, just because it is different. It's not the flat oval track. You've got the mile and five-sixteenth, 6 1/2. It's just a great, fun week."

However, Sisterson said that the undulating kidney-shaped course can be a bit of an adventure for horsemen.

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"You've no idea what horse is going to take to it," he said. "Which horse won't. Which horse will. Full fields. Just a lot of excitement going on down there."

Sisterson had Channel Cat with him at Saratoga all summer. After Channel Cat finished fourth in the G2 Bowling Green on July 31, Sisterson opted to skip Saratoga's G1 Sword Dancer on Aug. 28 and wait for the race sponsored by Calumet.

He thought that the Calumet Turf Cup was a better fit for the speedy horse. Plus there was no need to guess whether the 6-year-old son of English Channel can handle Kentucky Downs: he won the 2018 Dueling Grounds Derby while being trained by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher.

In a rivalry dating back to March 2018, Arklow and Zulu Alpha will meet for an amazing 11th time in the $1 million, Grade 2 Calumet Turf Cup.

In their 10 prior common races, Arklow finished ahead of Zulu Alpha five times, and vice-versa.

The defending champion, Arklow is the leading money winner in the 12-horse field with a Grade 1 victory plus two wins in the Kentucky Turf Cup in 2020 and 2018 and a second in 2019. Earlier this year he finished with a win in the G3 Louisville at Churchill Downs, sixth in the United Nations at Monmouth and seventh in the G2 Del Mar Handicap.

Arklow will try to become the first three-time winner of the $1 million Calumet Turf Cup. He won the race in 2018 and 2020 and was second in 2019.

A fantastic turf runner, earning over $2 million, Zulu Alpha has had a rocky 2021 campaign thus far. His speed figures have been way below what we have grown accustommed to from the 8-year-old. Zulu Alpha won this race back in 2019, and hopefully he can muster up the energy to get back in the money.

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