Veterans Musketier, Rahystrada still going strong to highlight Sycamore

Millionaires Musketier and Rahystrada, with a combined 11 graded/group victories between them, head a field of seven turf marathoners entered for Thursday's 18th running of the Grade 3, $100,000 Sycamore going 1 1/2 miles on the Keeneland grass.

Trained by Roger Attfield, the 10-year-old Musketier has won six graded stakes at the Sycamore distance, two of them coming in the Grade 2 Elkhorn over the course and three in the Grade 3 Singspiel at Woodbine. The gray son of Acatenango followed up his latest Singspiel win with a second in the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes at Arlington Park, but was unable to factor last out when a well-beaten sixth in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf back at Woodbine.

John Velazquez was aboard for that effort and retains the mount on Musketier for the Sycamore.

Rahystrada has four graded scores on his resume, including the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup at Kentucky Downs last year going 12 furlongs. Winner of the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap for a second time this summer, the eight-year-old gelded son of Rahy finished third in the Grade 1 Arlington Million in August before filling out the runner-up spot in this year's renewal of the Kentucky Turf Cup.

Corey Lanerie was in Rahystrada's saddle for only the third time in the Kentucky Turf Cup, and keeps the call on the Byron Hughes pupil for Thursday's contest.

The main threat to the two veterans is Ioya Bigtime, who is two-for-two at the 1 1/2-mile distance. Trained by Chris Block, Ioya Bigtime held off Rahystrada in the Kentucky Turf Cup in his most recent start, and in his initial 1 1/2-mile try defeated Musketier in the Stars and Stripes in July.

Sandwiched in between those two starts, the Dynaformer five-year-old posted a nice runner-up effort in the inaugural running of the American St. Leger. Regular rider Jeffrey Sanchez will be in the pilot's seat for the Sycamore.

Another with a chance in the Sycamore is stakes scorer Kindergarden Kid, who was just a half-length back of Ioya Bigtime and a head behind Rahystrada in the Kentucky Turf Cup. The five-year-old gelding was making his first start for new trainer Mike Maker in that spot after being claimed off Barclay Tagg.

The Dynaformer bay followed up his Kentucky Cup Turf effort with a nice third in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational on September 29 at Belmont Park. He'll have Julien Leparoux in the irons.

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