Transduction Gold, who won the Sycamore (gr. IIIT) last year but is winless since, will attempt to defend his title Oct. 18 against 10 rivals in the $150,000 event at Keeneland.
The Sycamore, a 1 1/2-mile test on the turf, is the first of two graded stakes on the Keeneland program and will go to post at 4:10 p.m. EDT. The Lexus Raven Run (gr. II), for 3-year-old fillies, will follow two races later.
A Kentucky homebred of John Glenney, Transduction Gold won the 2007 Sycamore by a neck as a 16-1 longshot. The 5-year-old gelded son of Formal Gold is 0-for-7 since last year’s Sycamore, including an eighth-place finish in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) last October at Monmouth Park.
Although he has not hit the winner’s circle in 2008, the dark bay has finished runner-up three times, including the Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) two starts ago. Most recently, Transduction Gold was third in the Sept. 27 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship (gr. IT) at Del Mar when Red Giant set the nine-furlong North American record in 1:57.16.
Jon Court will get the mount for Glenney, who is also the trainer. Transduction Gold will share top weight of 122 pounds with three others.
Making his first start on the Keeneland turf will be Good Request, a 4-year-old Dynaformer colt owned and trained by Bobby Frankel. Good Request began his career with seven consecutive defeats, but has reeled off two in a row since breaking his maiden at Saratoga Aug. 6 while going 1 3/8 miles on the turf. A little more than two weeks later the bay won an allowance at Saratoga at the same distance. Julien Leparoux will get the mount for the first time as Good Request makes his stakes debut.
Eight-year-old Silverfoot has won once in five career starts on the Keeneland grass, that coming in allowance company in 2005. The gelded son of With Approval has scored once in nine starts this season for trainer Dallas Stewart. It came three starts back in the Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park July 4. Robby Albarado, the leading rider at Keeneland this meet, gets the mount and will break from the inside.
Fred Seitz’s Guadalcanal is the lone 3-year-old in the field. Guadalcanal is best known for his Belmont Stakes (gr. I) start when he finished seventh and made contact with Big Brown in the early going which may have caused the dual-classic winner’s shoe to dislodge. Since the Belmont, Guadalcanal has won twice, breaking his maiden at Ellis Park July 25 and most recently, taking a 1 1/2-mile allowance contest at Churchill Downs Sept. 13.
Also of note is Rumor Has It, who won for the first time since 2005 when he wired the field at odds of 59-1 in the Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes (gr. III) last month at Kentucky Downs.
$150,000 Sycamore Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 4:10 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds and Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Silverfoot, 122, Robby Albarado
2. Telling, 120, Shaun Bridgmohan
3. Guadalcanal, 116, Calvin H. Borel
4. Transduction Gold, 122, Jon Kenton Court
5. Good Request, 120, Julien R. Leparoux
6. My Happiness, 120, Eusebio Razo, Jr.
7. Hapaheart, 120, Pablo Tolentino
8. Phil the Power, 120, Anthony S. Black
9. Elusive Fort, 120, Miguel Mena
10. Always First, 122, Rene R. Douglas
11. Rumor Has It, 122, Eduardo E. Perez