Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) winner Honor In War and Gainsborough Farm's multiple stakes winner Touch of the Blues head a strong list of 64 older horses nominated to the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs on July 5.
Honor In War, owned by 3rd Turn Stables and trained by Paul J. McGee, scored the first grade I victory of his career in the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic and followed that effort with a sixth-place finish on "soft" turf to Denon in the Manhattan (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
The 6-year-old Touch of the Blues, a French import trained by Neil Drysdale, finished third to Redattore and Special Ring in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park in his most recent outing. He was fourth to Good Journey in last year's renewal of the Firecracker Breeders' Cup.
Nominees who are expected to run in the Firecracker include the first three finishers in the Sea O' Erin at Arlington Park: Farish, Webber and Elkins' Rock Slide; Live Oak Plantation's Miesque's Approval and Eutrophia Farm's Package Store. Also being pointed to the one mile race is Centaur Farm's Classic Par, a dead-heat winner of the 2002 Louisville Handicap (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.