Countodown to the Cup: Battle Lines Drawn as Pegasus Flies the Coop, Oct. 11, Part 2

Continued from part 1

SPRINT: Kona Gold has a chance to establish himself as the favorite for the Sprint with a victory in the Ancient Title, especially with the division dominated by 3-year-olds, such as Trippi, More Than Ready, Caller One, and the filly Dream Supreme. Two more will be in action this weekend, as Chilukki steps up in class to take on Kona Gold, while Forest Camp, with only one start this year, heads East for the Forest Hills at Belmont.

The Ancient Title should also draw Elaborate, who won the Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park in 1:21 before finishing fifth in the Pat O'Brien at Del Mar. But all Del Mar defeats can be forgiven. Facing Forest Camp in the Forest Hills will be Delaware Township, a very fast horse who made a threatening move in the Vosburgh after having to overcome a troubled start; Forego Handicap winner Shadow Caster; last year's Futurity winner Bevo; and the quick Falkenburg, who is always a step away from becoming a top horse. Other possibles are One Way Love and Valiant Halory.

At Keeneland, the old warrior Bet on Sunshine is back for another crack at the Phoenix BC Handicap, where he'll face Five Star Day, Istintaj, Nunzio, and Wouldn't We All.

JUVENILE FILLIES: The West Coast is taken care of with Notable Career's wire-to-wire score in last week's Oak Leaf Stakes. Now it's up to the Easterners to sort themselves out. The Frizette should be a barn-burner, with Raging Fever, a staggering winner of the Matron trying to stretch out her speed a little farther; Dancinginmydreams, who closed like a rocket to just miss in the Matron; Spinaway and Sorority winner Stormy Pick, who also looks to stretch out her speed; Shop Here, a recent allowance winner for Allen Jerkens; Ilusoria, who should improve a lot off her third in the Matron; and several other promising fillies.

Keeneland fans will get to see if Platinum Tiara, the terror of Calder, can continue annihilating her opponents in the Alcibiades Stakes. Winner of her last three starts by a total of 29 lengths, she takes on Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Miss Pickums; the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Cash Deal, a 7 1/2-length maiden winner; as well as Haitian Vacation, Caught Out, Nasty Storm, and She's a Devil Due.

On Sunday, the undefeated Gold Mover, who drilled a half in :46, returns from an injury in the Astarita Stakes at Belmont.

FILLY & MARE TURF: If Perfect Sting can continue her unbeaten streak in the Friday's Galaxy Stakes at Keeneland, it should set up a classic international showdown in the Breeders' Cup with the brilliant Petrushka, winner of the Irish Oaks in Ireland, the Yorkshire Oaks in England, and Prix de l'Opera in France. Looking to stop her will be Hello Soso, License Fee, Tout Charmant, Mumtaz, Wild Heart Dancing, and Candle in the Dark, among others.

TURF: The Europeans look to have an easy time of it in the Canadian International, as Coronation Cup winner Daliapour looks to be a standout against Godolphin's group I winner Mutafaweq, Murghem, the German-trained Caitano, California invader Lycitus and Kentucky-based Williams News. Caitano is a tough old horse whom we've always liked, and if he can find his form of several years ago, he could be tough in this field. I and I and Dawson's Legacy heads the local horses.

MILE: All that's left on tap is the Oak Tree Mile, which will attract a wide-open field, including Purely Cozzene, Sharan, Auction House, Lord Smith, the English invader Iridanos, and the long-awaited return of Santa Anita Derby runner-up War Chant.

Most Popular Stories