Bear Now goes for back-to-back Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III) titles Sept. 26 at Turfway Park when she takes on nine rivals in the $100,000 Polytrack event for fillies and mares.
Sent off as the 6-5 choice in the 2008 Kentucky Cup Distaff, Bear Now drew clear to win by four lengths under Eurico Rosa Da Silva while racing for Bear Now Stables and Reade Baker. Installed as the 7-5 morning-line favorite for this edition of the 1 1/16-mile contest, the 5-year-old Tiznow mare will try to capture the race for a new set of connections. She is now owned by Town and Country Farm, trained by Al Stall Jr., and will be ridden by Robby Albarado.
Bear Now, who was a $950,000 Fasig-Tipton 2008 Kentucky Fall mixed sale purchase, is winless in 2009 for her new connections, but has been runner-up three times. Most recently, she missed by a length in the Iowa Distaff Stakes June 27 at Prairie Meadows. In May, Bear Now was third, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Informed Decision, in the grade I Madison at Keeneland.
An earner of more than $1.14 million from 25 starts, Bear Now set the pace in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita before fading to eighth.
Carrying top weight of 122 pounds are Courtlandt Farms’ Indescribable and Richard Bertram and Elaine Klein’s Whirlie Bertie, both with graded stakes wins this season.
Indescribable (4-1), a 5-year-old daughter of Pleasant Tap, won the Doubledogdare (gr. III) at Keeneland in April. Garrett Gomez will ride for trainer Bill Mott. Whirlie Bertie (5-1), a 4-year-old Stormin Fever filly, scored in the Gardenia Handicap (gr. III) Aug. 15 at Ellis Park in her most recent start. Larry Melancon is up for trainer Steve Margolis.
The Distaff will go as race 10 on the Turfway card and post time is set for 5:24 p.m. EDT.
Also on the Turfway card, which is highlighted by the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II), is the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) for 3-year-olds. The six-furlong event, which has produced former Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winners Reraise (1998) and Cajun Beat (2003), drew a field of 11.
Installed as the tepid 3-1 morning-mile favorite is Elaine Jones’ Guam Typhoon, a son of Distorted Humor. The Ian Wilkes trainee won three consecutive starts earlier this season—all at Churchill Downs—before moving into stakes company. The chestnut colt has since finished third in the Curlin Stakes and runner-up in the Pleasant Colony Stakes, both at Saratoga. Calvin Borel picks up the mount.
Woodbine shipper El Brujo has won a pair of stakes in Toronto this season for trainer Malcolm Pierce but is winless in his last three tries. The gelding by Candy Ride will break from the rail under Garrett Gomez.
Early speed could come from Big Push, winner of the Gilded Time Stakes at Monmouth Park Sept. 6 and Lookn Mighty Fast, a former claimer who has won three straight for trainer Tom Amoss.
Post time for the Sprint is slated for 5:51 p.m.
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. II, Race 10, 5:24 p.m.), Fillies and Mares 3 & Up , 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Unforgotten (FL), C H Borel, 116, D Stewart
2. French Kiss (KY), J M Johnson, 120, G G Hartlage
3. Ms. Margaret H. (KY), L R Goncalves, 116, D Ashcraft
4. Dreaming of Liz (KY), M Mena, 116, D L Miller
5. Madly (KY), P Tolentino, 112, J L Lopez
6. Bear Now (KY), R Albarado, 116, A M Stall, Jr.
7. Adhsilver (FL), J R Leparoux, 116, M R Scherer
8. Irish Ridge (KY), T J Thompson, 112, M A Tammaro
9. Whirlie Bertie (KY), L Melancon, 122, S Margolis
10. Indescribable (KY), G K Gomez, 122, W I Mott
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III, Race 12, 5:51 p.m.), 3YO, 6 Furlongs (Polytrack) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. El Brujo (ON), G K Gomez, 122, M Pierce
2. Lookn Mighty Fast (KY), L R Goncalves, 118, T M Amoss
3. Ju Jitsu Jax (FL), M Mena, 122, S A Lake
4. Big Push (FL), R Albarado, 118, S Klesaris
5. Guam Typhoon (KY), C H Borel, 120, I R Wilkes
6. Hamazing Destiny (KY), T J Thompson, 118, D W Lukas
7. Heart of a King (KY), J K Court, 122, M V Pino
8. Dynamite Bob (KY), P Tolentino, 118, J L Lopez
9. Turfiste (KY), J R Leparoux, 120, R E Holthus
10. Brass Bay (PA), S Gonzalez Jr., 118, K D Ritchie
11. His Greatness (KY), C Rojas, 118, M P Salazar