Claiborne Farm's homebred Laity, an 11 3/4-length winner of the Miller Lite Cradle Stakes at River Downs Sept. 5 figures to be a popular choice for Saturday's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.
Trained by Frank Brothers, Laity will possibly take on six 2-year-olds in the $500,000, 1 1/16-mile race, according to Keeneland's stakes coordinator Daniel Bork. Others being pointed to making the starting gate are Charley Tango, Cool Creek, High Cotton, Reaffirmed, Stream Cat, and either Menancing or Kid Lemonade from trainer Tim Ritchey's barn.
Brothers is in the enviable position of having two top 2-year-olds heading into the fall. His First Samurai, winner of the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) last time out at Saratoga, will be making his next start in Saturday's Champagne Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park. First Samurai, by Giant's Causeway
, is owned by Bruce Lunsford and Lansdon Robbins III.
The Cradle, also run at 1 1/16 miles, gives Laity the advantage of already having a two-turn win under his belt. "It's not going to hurt him any," said Brothers of his recent experience. "He's a two-turn colt. He's a straightforward colt and has a nice turn of foot. I don't know what was behind him in the Cradle, but I'm happy with the way he's going into the race."
Laity ran seventh in his debut at Churchill, then broke his maiden in wire-to-wire fashion at Arlington Aug. 5 going a mile. His stakes win at River Downs was also on the lead.
"He ran green in his first start, and he was down on the inside," Brothers said. "He's not a run-off horse," Brothers said. "I think he can sit behind horses, but he's just learning how to run. You have to learn how to 'whoa-and-go.'
"He's worked with First Samurai and he's just a shade off him. He's gotten better and better and he's learning the game--now let's see if he's good enough.
Laity, a son of Claiborne stallion Pulpit
out of Tour, by Forty Niner, is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Trip. "I have trained a good portion of the family, including his half-sister Trip," Brothers said. "She had a good mind.
Laity isn't the only one with two-turn experience, as Kid Lemonade and Stream Cat come off strong route performances. Roll Z Dice Racing Stable's Kid Lemonade has made his last three starts at a mile at Delaware Park. Ritchey said Tuesday afternoon he was leaning toward shipping the son of Lemon Drop Kid
to Keeneland for the Breeders' Futurity. He also has Menacing (also by Lemon Drop Kid
), who may go in the Champagne, and Southern Success, who will likely start in the $100,000 Dover Stakes at Delaware the same afternoon.
Ritchey said Kid Lemonade and Menacing will be cross-entered in both the Lane's End and the Champagne and jockey Jeremy Rose will be named on both.
"On pedigree, Lemon Drop Kids don't need to sprint," Ritchey said of Kid Lemonade. After running fifth going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga Aug. 6, Kid Lemonade won back-to-back two-turn races at Delaware Park before running second, beaten 1 1/2 lengths in the Whirling Ash Stakes at Delaware Sept. 17.
Stream Cat, from the first crop of Black Minnaloushe
, won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 17, going 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack surface in 1:46.42. Prior to that, Stream Cat won the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Trained by Patrick Biancone, Stream Cat races for Fab Oak Stable, Robert Hurley, and Team Derby Dreams Stables.