A couple of classy older horses, Denon and Rochester, head the field for the mile-and-a-half $150,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland Saturday. A field of nine will try to stay the course.
Denon, from the Bobby Frankel factory of turf runners, will be making his first 2004 appearance. His last two efforts of 2003 were unplaced runs in the Hong Kong Cup (HK-I) and the Japan Cup (Jpn-I). The multiple grade I victor, a 6-year-old son of Pleasant Colony, has banked more than $1.7 million.
Rochester has 10 lifetime wins, although none have occurred this yer. The 8-year-old Green Dancer gelding is conditioned by Jonathan Sheppard, and comes into the Sycamore off a second-place effort in the Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) to Sabiango.
Gorylla, a Brazilian bred, makes his third start stateside. He was fourth in the Kentucky Cup Turf, and is a multiple group winner in his native country. Ken McPeek trains the 7-year-old. Mustanfar has been clashing with stakes horses all season. He was placed first in the Lexington Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Belmont three back, and has since rolled a pair of seconds at Saratoga to the highly regarded Artie Schiller and Prince Arch.
The field for the Sycamore, in post position order with jockeys and weights:
1) Rochester (Pat Day, 122)
2) Mustanfar (Jose Santos, 118)
3) Gorylla (Gary Stevens, 122)
4) Gottabeachboy (James Graham, 120)
5) Deputy Strike (Mark Guidry, 120)
6) Stratostar (Rafael Bejarano, 120)
7) On the Course (Robby Albarado, 120)
8) Denon (Edgar Prado, 122)
9) Grey Beard (Brice Blanc, 120)