Pie N Burger is being aimed for his first graded stakes victory in more than a year in Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 6-year-old gelding by Twining
won't find the going easy in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Earlier this year Pie N Burger was second in the Essex Handicap (gr. III) and third in the Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. He comes to Turfway off a gate-to-wire victory in the Evangeline Downs Handicap on Aug. 14. Trained by Cole Norman, Pie N Burger is owned by the Kagele Brothers and James Bailey. The Kageles also are part-owners of handicap star Southern Image and graded sprint winners Pohave and Supah Blitz.
"I know this race may be a notch or two above the caliber of races my horse is exiting," Norman said in a track release. "But he's been training great and we figured why not take a chance and see what happens."
Out of the Topsider mare Abarca and bred in Kentucky by Helen Alexander, Pie N Burger won at the graded level on May 26, 2003 in the Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III). Overall, he has a 14-9-3 slate from 40 career starts and has earned $842,133.
Pie N Burger is scheduled to leave Louisiana Tuesday and arrive at Turfway Park Wednesday, so Hurricane Ivan should not affect his flight. He worked five furlongs at Louisiana Downs on Sept. 11, getting the trip in 1:01 2/5.
The probable favorite in the Classic will be Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, recent winner of the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga. Trainer Dale Romans is hoping to use this race as his final prep before the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I).
"He's been doing real good," Romans said. "He came out of the Whitney with no problems, and he is ready to go. I'm not sure when we will ship although I am leaning towards Thursday right now."
Roses in May, a 4-year-old by Devil His Due
out of the Speak John mare Tell a Secret won the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows prior to the Whitney. The Ramseys bought him for $115,000 out of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April sale of 2-year-olds in training.
Others likely for the Classic are Country Be Gold and Sonic West. The connections of Seattle Fitz are still on the fence, as are those of the 3-year-old Tricky Taboo.
Country Be Gold is in for the Classic on short rest, having run third in the Delaware Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association's Owners Day Handicap at Delaware Park last Saturday. Owned by S. A. Partnership, the 7-year-old horse by Summer Squall
is trained by Reynaldo Nobles.
West Point Thoroughbreds' Seattle Fitz breezed four furlongs in :49 4/5 Tuesday on a fast Saratoga training track for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The work was the second fastest of the 18 horses who worked at that distance. Earlier this year the Argentine-bred was impressive in back-to-back scores in the William Donald Schaeffer Handicap (gr. III) and Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II).
With a solid second-place finish in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in March, there is no denying Tricky Taboo's love for the surface. There is also no denying how well he is feeling after a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 at the Thoroughbred Center Tuesday morning.
Notes on the other Kentucky Cup races:Kentucky Cup Sprint (grade III)
Cuvee is expected to ship to Turfway on Thursday, according to trainer Steve Asmussen.
Quick Action has moved to the "less likely" category while stablemate Swift Attraction joins the list of probables for trainer D. Wayne Lukas.Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III)
Nominees Fusaichi Rock Star, trained by Bob Baffert; and Killenaule, trained by Todd Pletcher, are off the list for the Juvenile, said Turfway stakes coordinator Randy Wehrman.
New to the Juvenile start list is Norainonthisparty, trained by Susan Stidham. Pat Johnson has the call.
Storied Cat will be in for Lukas. Consolidator's starting status is undecided.Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies
Buckram Oak Farm's Carmandia, who breezed five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 at Churchill Downs Tuesday morning, is in the race according to trainer Carl Nafzger.
New to the Fillies list of probables is Bubble N Squeak, trained by Ken McPeek for owner William Carl. Carl also owns Im a Dixie Girl, who is nominated under Bernie Flint's tutelage. Her status vis-a-vis the Juvenile Fillies and the Arlington Lassie remains undecided, as does Flint's other trainee, Runway Model. Im a Dixie Girl is the recent winner of the Pepsi Bassinet Stakes at River Downs.
Also added to the list of probables list is the Steve Hobby-trained Mary Alex.Turfway Breeders' Cup (gr. III)
La Reason, trained by David Vance for K and K Racing Stable, is set for the race. Pat Day will ride.
Angela's Love is still on schedule for the 1 1/16-mile race. "She had her final breeze today [Tuesday] and she went great, " said trainer Dale Romans. "I clocked her in :47 and three and she galloped out strongly as well."
The official time for the four-furlong breeze at Churchill Downs was :48 2/5, the eighth-fastest of the day.