The first three from last year's Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs are back for this year's running, and track officials hope that things go more smoothly in the 1 1/2-mile Sept. 25 race than they did in 2003. Art Variety finished first, but was disqualified because of interference and placed third behind Rochester and Quest Star.
Rochester, who also won the 2002 Kentucky Cup Turf, heads into the race off a fourth-place finish in the Aug. 14 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga and will be looking for his first win of the year. Art Variety was fourth in the Sept. 4 Rossi Gold Stakes on grass at Arlington Park in his last race, and Quest Star ran fourth in a Sept. 1 Saratoga allowance turf race in his. The latter won the Pan American Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream earlier this year for the second straight time.
The remainder of the eight-horse field consists of Rossi Gold runner-up Sharbayan, who was beaten a nose; Sabiango, winner of the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood in June, but unplaced in the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT); Gorylla, last year's Carlos Pellegrini (Brz-I) winner; recent Canterbury allowance turf winner Dontbotherknocking; and 2004 turf stakes-placed Gottabeachboy.
Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap, Race 14, Estimated Post Time 5:02
Post Horse Weight Jockey
1 Gorylla (BRZ) 114 Calvin Borel
2 Gottabeachboy 111 James Graham
3 Sharbayan (IRE) 115 Robby Albarado
4 Art Variety (BRZ) 115 Rafael Bejarano
5 Sabiango (GER) 119 Brice Blanc
6 Rochester 117 Pat Day
7 Dontbotherknocking 112 Mark Guidry
8 Quest Star 115 Larry Melancon