Roses in May 1-2 Choice Vs. Five in Ky. Cup Classic

Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Roses in May, winner of last month's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, was installed the 1-2 favorite for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park. The 118-pound starting highweight will break from post five and face just five rivals in the 1 1/8-mile race that carries a purse of $350,000.

The Classic is one of five Kentucky Cup stakes on the afternoon at the northern Kentucky track. Cat Thief has emerged from this race to win the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). Other stars to get their careers off to big starts in this series include Point Given  , Vindication, Successful Appeal  , and Caller One.

It's a good omen that Roses in May broke his maiden by five lengths in his lone start over a sloppy track as heavy rain is predicted throughout Kentucky this weekend as Hurricane Ivan hit landfall in Alabama recently.

John Velazquez will be at the northern Kentucky track for the mount on Roses in May for trainer Dale Romans. Bred in Kentucky by Margaux Farm, Roses in May was a $19,000 Keeneland September sale yearling in 2001. The Ramsey's purchased the son of Devil His Due for $115,000 out of the following year's OBS April 2-year-olds in training sale. Setbacks kept him from the track until May of 2003, but he's more than made up for it, winning six of nine starts, with two seconds, and earnings of $773,687. A good showing in the Kentucky Cup will hopefully be a springboard for the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

In the Whitney, and in his previous start and win in the Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows, Roses in May defeated Perfect Drift, last year's winner of the Kentucky Cup Classic.

Facing Roses in May, from the rail out is: Stratostar, Adreamisborn, Country Be Gold, Pie N Burger, and Sonic West.

Pie N Burger, Country Be Gold, and Adreamisborn all are the accomplished rivals and will tote 114 pounds.

Pie N Burger, bred by Helen Alexander and owned by the Kagele Brothers and James Bailey, has six stakes wins to his credit, but only one has come at the graded level. He won last year's Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles last May 26. He finished eighth in the race this year, contested at a mile over a sloppy track in April. By Twining, Pie N Burger is out of the Topsider mare Abarca.

Country Be Gold will be making his 49th career start and first at Turfway Park in the Kentucky Cup Classic. Trained by Reynaldo Nobles, the son of Summer Squall was second in the 2002 Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) behind Seeking Daylight in the slop and second in the 2001 Stuyvesant Handicap (gr. III) behind Graeme Hall. Country Be Gold was bred in Kentucky by Helen Brann and Flora Roberts.

Adreamisborn, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, is coming in off a victory in the Longacres Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Emerald Downs Aug. 22. By the late Kris S., Adreamisborn is out of the grade III-winning dam Erica's Dream. The 5-year-old gelding was bred in Kentucky by the late John Franks and Jonabell Farm.

Stratostar, a son of Pulpit trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, is a half-brother to grade II stakes winner Rize. The 4-year-old colt was bred by the late Allen Paulson and is owned by the Allan Paulson Living Trust. A late bloomer, Stratostar was third earlier this summer in his stakes debut in the nine-furlong Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington Park.

Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), $350,000, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/8 miles, Turfway Park, Saturday, Sept. 18
PP -- Horse -- Jockey -- Wgt. -- M/L
1 -- Stratostar -- John McKee -- 111 -- 15-1
2 --Adreamisborn -- Russell Baze -- 114 -- 6-1
3 -- Country Be Gold -- Rafael Bejarano -- 114 -- 8-1
4 -- Pie N Burger -- Jamie Theriot -- 114 -- 4-1
5 -- Roses in May -- John Velazquez -- 118 -- 1-2
6 -- Sonic West -- Pat Day -- 113 -- 12-

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