The connections of top dirt sprinter Fabulous Strike took a pass on the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, but the handicap lured a full field of turf sprinters that rank among the best at East Coast and Midwest racetracks.
The Aug. 1 Governor’s Cup, at five furlongs on the grass, is the headliner of the first “Governor’s Cup Racing Festival” at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Seven stakes will be offered July 31-Aug. 1.
Fabulous Strike was assigned top weight of 123 pounds, but with him not in the race, Chamberlain Bridge will take over at 121. Owned by Carl Moore Management, Chamberlain Bridge has excelled sprinting on the turf; he has won five times and finished worse than third only once in his last 10 starts for trainer Bret Calhoun.
The War Chant gelding will break from post 11 in a 12-horse field. Jesus Castanon is named to ride.
Calhoun also entered Euroears, who’s two-for-two in turf sprints and was undefeated in six starts before an off-the-board finish at Churchill Downs last fall. Euroears, by Langfuhr , is owned by James and Marilyn Helzer.
Rob Ry Farm and Jayne Marie Slysz’s Heros Reward, winner of the 2008 Governor’s Cup, is entered as well for trainer Dale Capuano. Heros Reward (by Partner's Hero), who competed in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, has faced the top grass sprinters in the country for more than a year.
The Aug. 1 program, which begins an hour earlier at 5:45 p.m. EDT, includes the Turf Starlet for 2-year-old fillies at five furlongs on the turf; Capital City for 3-year-olds at one mile on the turf; and East Hanover Township for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on the dirt.
The July 31 program is headed by the $100,000 Jennie Wade Handicap for fillies and mares at five furlongs on the grass. The high weight at 121 pounds is multiple stakes winner Smart and Fancy (by Not For Love), who’s owned by Park Avenue Racing Stable and trained by Anthony Dutrow.
Post time for the Governor’s Cup is set for 7:46 p.m. Here’s the field, with jockeys and weights:
1. Cardashi David Cora 115
2. Little Nick Paco Lopez 116
3. Euroears Jamie Theriot 117
4. Perfect Officer Edgar Prado 110
5. Blue Sailor Harry Vega 116
6. Heros Reward Javier Castellano 119
7. Sea Dubai Wesley Ho 113
8. Smart Enough Jeremy Rose 118
9. Yankee Injunuity E.T. Baird 119
10. True Quality Norberto Arroyo Jr. 117
11. Chamberlain Bridge Jesus Castanon 121
12. Secretintelligence Justin Shepherd 115
13. (AE) Titanic Win (no rider named) 108