FLORENCE, Ky., Sept. 18, 2011 - The five stakes races that comprise the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions series at Turfway Park closed Thursday with a combined 161 nominations.
The five races are part of a 12-race card set for Sat., Sept. 24. All five are preps for the $25.5 million Breeders' Cup World Championships in November. Post time is 1:10 p.m., returning that Saturday to the traditional afternoon post.
$200,000 WinStar Kentucky Cup (G2)
The $200,000 WinStar Kentucky Cup (G2), the centerpiece of the series, drew 32 nominations including 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford from the barn of Dale Romans and Todd Pletcher trainees Sidney's Candy, a Grade 1 winner owned by WinStar Farm, and multiple Grade 1-placed Rule, owned by Rubio B. Stable and WinStar Farm. Pletcher also nominated multiple Grade 2 winner Mission Impazible for Twin Creeks Racing Stable and Grade 3 winner Caixa Eletronica for Michael Repole. Multiple Grade 1 winner General Quarters represents owner/trainer Tom McCarthy.
Then known as the Kentucky Cup Classic, the WinStar Kentucky Cup was last run in 2009 and was won by Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Furthest Land, who went on to win the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Maker nominated six to this year's Grade 2 feature, including multiple graded stakes-placed and Turfway stakes winner Baryshnikov.
Kentucky Cup Day betting from Turfway Park race track at Off Track Betting
Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3)
The Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff (G3) drew 28 nominations, including graded stakes winner Ailalea, owned by Starlight Partners and trained by Pletcher; multiple stakes winner Inglorious, owned by Donver Stable and trained by Josie Carroll; and multiple graded stakes-placed Persuading, owned by James Lauffer and Poplar Hill Equine and trained by Romans.
In addition to purse earnings, the top three finishers in the Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff each will win a season to one of three WinStar stallions: Super Saver, Colonel John, and Hold Me Back.
Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3)
Among 22 nominations to the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint (G3) is WinStar's graded stakes-placed Cal Nation, also trained by Pletcher. WinStar stallion Speightstown himself is represented by Adam King's He's Speightful, who broke his maiden at first asking for trainer Hayden Worrell-Springer and has since won three allowance races by wide open lengths. Maker nominated graded stakes winner Lou Brissie for the Ramseys.
Like the WinStar Kentucky Cup, the Speightstown Kentucky Cup Sprint and the Distorted Humor Kentucky Cup Distaff were last run in 2009.
Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile
The Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile drew 39 nominations. Among them are multiple graded stakes-placed Power World from the barn of Neil Howard and Hansen, a Maker trainee who blew away a Turfway maiden special field by more than 12 lengths in his debut this month. Woodbine-based Carroll nominated Swynford Stakes winner Indian Evening.
Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies
The Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies drew 40 nominations, including Spinaway Stakes (G1) runner-up Judy the Beauty and stakes winner Gypsy Robin, both trained and owned by Wesley Ward, the latter in partnership with Gatewood Bell. James DiVito's trainee Ann of the Dance, third in the Arlington-Washington Lassie (G3), also is nominated.
The Bluegrass Cat Kentucky Cup Juvenile and the Tiznow Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies return to the Turfway Park schedule after a two-year hiatus.
Entries for the entire WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions card will be drawn Thursday.
General admission to the WinStar Kentucky Cup Day of Champions is free. Reserved seating is available, ranging from $5 in Players' Row to $100 in the VIP Paddock Pavilion. Reservations are available by calling (859) 371-0200. Parking is free; valet parking is available.