The D. Wayne Lukas-trained Storied Cat may have drawn the outside post for Saturday's Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III), but the son of Tale of the Cat was made the even-money morning line favorite against six rivals.
The Kentucky Cup Juvenile is one of the first graded two-turn tests for 2-year-olds and has been a springboard for champions and top runners. In recent years, Point Given
, and Vindication
have all earned their first two-turn victories in the Juvenile. Last year's winner, via disqualification, Mr. Jester, went on to win the $1-million Boyd Gaming's Delta Jackpot Stakes at Delta Downs.
Storied Cat, owned by Clinton and Susan Atkins, has but a maiden win to his credit, but that came in a wire-to-wire effort in the slop at Saratoga on Aug. 21. The Kentucky-bred got six furlongs in 1:10.98 in winning in his third lifetime start. He ran second, beaten a length and a head, in his first two starts. He fired a blistering four-furlong workout Sept. 12 in :46 3/5.
The win in the slop may come in handy as anywhere from five to seven inches of rain have been predicted in Central Kentucky over the next few days as Hurricane Ivan disperses into the southeastern United States.
Bred by Third Street Partners, Storied Cat is out of the Holy Bull
mare Celestial Crown. A $165,000 sale weanling at Keeneland in November of 2002, he was a $400,000 purchase out of last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga auction. He'll be ridden by Pat Day, the all-time leading jockey in Kentucky Cup races.
The second and third choices on the morning line are United (3-1) and Sequoia Grove (9-2).
Dogwood Stable's United, a son of first-year sire Dixie Union
out of the Robyn Dancer mare Robyns Tune, also broke his maiden at Saratoga. On Aug. 14, wired a field of maidens going seven furlongs (123.93) for trainer George Weaver. He then ran second to Dubleo, by a neck, in the one-mile Continental Mile Stakes on the turf at Monmouth Park. A $150,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida select 2-year-old earlier this year, United will be ridden by John Velazquez. He was bred in Pennsylvania by Knockmuira Stud.
Sequoia Grove is a local product, having made both his starts at Ellis Park. The James Spence homebred son of Storm Cat
out of the graded stakes-winning Lilly Capote fell a nose shy in his debut, then came back to break his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths Sept. 4, getting six furlongs in 1:11.40. Trained by Ralph Nicks, Sequoia Grove will be ridden by Robby Albarado.Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III), 2-year-olds, $100,000, 1 1/16 miles, Turfway Park, Saturday, Sept. 18
PP -- Horse -- Jockey -- M/L
1 -- Oro Brave -- Dean Sarvis -- 50-1
2 -- Greater Good -- John McKee -- 6-1
3 -- United -- John Velazquez -- 3-1
4 -- Norainonthisparty -- Pat Johnson -- 15-1
5 -- Magna Graduate -- Willie Martinez -- 8-1
6 -- Sequoia Grove -- Robby Albarado -- 9-2
7 -- Storied Cat -- Pat Day -- Even