Saturday's inaugural running of the $500,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Virginia's Colonial Downs has attracted 11 entries for the race restricted to 3-year-old turf horses.
If the race, at 1 3/16 miles on grass, is contested like the other 3-year-old turf races this spring, a win with by a nose would be considered plenty.
Interpretation and jockey Tom Turner have experienced such a finish, capturing the $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a nose for his first career victory. After finishing fourth in the Forerunner at Keeneland in April, the Langfuhr
gelding returned to win an allowance at Belmont Park by a neck.
Included in the entries are six horses which are also entered in Saturday's $500,000 Kent Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds on grass, at Delaware Park. The cross-entered horses for the 1 1/8-mile Kent are Interpatation, Spring House, Touched by Madness, Crown Point, Wallstreet Scandal, and El Viaje.
Todd Pletcher trained English Channel is the morning line favorite (5-2) and has been training at Belmont Park after winning the $100,000 Woodlawn Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness day.
Mad Adam (10-1), Touched By Madness (9-2) and Spring House (15-1) were late nominees to the Colonial Turf Cup.
Trainer James Jackson scratched Mad Adam out the $100,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs this past Saturday, liking his chances better in Virginia. Mad Adam won the $200,000 Comp USA Stakes at Lone Star Park over a yielding turf course and finished second in the Forerunner. Ryan Fogelsonger gets the mount aboard the Michigan-bred who has been working out at Great Lakes Downs.
Touched By Madness won the $100,000 Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park in front-running fashion, defeating Spring House, who was slow out of the gate.
Classic Campaign (7-2), co-owned by Yankee owner George Steinbrenner (Kinsman Stable), was involved in a bumbling finish in the $100,000 Hill Prince (gr. III) at Belmont Park, which was won by Rey de Café. Classic Campaign has had the toughest campaign in the field losing in two races where Rey de Café won in his last two starts. Rey de Café is being pointed for the $750,000 Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) at Colonial Downs on July 16th.
Crown Point (15-1) was fourth in the Hill Prince two weekends ago in his first start since February. Maiden El Vaije (50-1), Wallstreet Scandal (8-1), Criminal Mind (10-1), Crown Point (15-1) and Exceptional Ride (12-1) round out the complete the field.
The winner of the Colonial Turf Cup will be eligible to win the "Grand Slam of Grass" with a guaranteed $5 million payout offered by Jacobs Investments. To complete the "slam," the Colonial Turf Cup winner would have to round second, the $750,000 Virginia Derby (IIIT), then tag third in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington in August and come home in the John Deere Breeder's Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Belmont Park in October against older horses.
The Colonial Turf Cup is the 10th of 11 races on Saturday's card at Colonial Downs and will be televised on Comcast Sports Net and other Fox affiliates as well as TVG. Post time for the Colonial Turf Cup is 5:20 p.m.
Field for the Colonial Turf Cup:Post position--horse, weight, jockey:
1--El Viaje, 116, Luis Garcia
2--Wallstreet Scandal, 116, (No Rider Named)
3--Criminal Mind, 116, Cornelio H. Velasquez
4--Interpatation, 118, Tom G. Turner
5--Mad Adam, 120, Ryan Fogelsonger
6--Touched by Madness, 120, Frankie Pennington
7--English Channel, 118, John R. Velazquez
8--Spring House, 116, Aaron T. Gryder
9--Classic Campaign, 116, Michael J. Luzzi
10--Crown Point, 116, Jose L. Espinoza
11--Exceptional Ride, 116, Brice Blanc