Free Fighter, unplaced in two starts since upsetting the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) in May, is back to defend his title in the $100,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Aug. 21.
S J Stables' 9-year-old gelding Cloudy's Knight felt no effects of a more than one year layoff, as he took over in upper stretch and cruised to a comfortable 2 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) Sept. 19 at Kentucky Downs.
The $150,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT), the feature of Kentucky Downs' four-day live meet, drew a full field of 12, including defending titleholder Rumor Has It and grade I winner Cloudy's Knight.
Free Fighter, with James Graham aboard, outfought 9-10 favorite Brass Hat through a long stretch battle to produce a half-length victory in the $125,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park Sept. 7.
Old-timers Brass Hat, Silverfoot, and Rumor Has It figure to fight it out in the $125,000 Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 12 furlongs on Labor Day at Arlington Park Sept. 7.
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.
Entering the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT), Rumor Has It had not hit the winner's circle since Nov. 5, 2005. The 7-year-old gelding was 0-for-10 during that span, which was why he was sent off at odds of 59-1 Sept. 13 before romping to a 3 3/4-length victory.
It's not surprising that S J Stables' Cloudy's Knight, a grade I winner who towers over his competitors with earnings of more than $2 million, will be the starting highweight in the July 4 Stars and Stripes Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park.
Well-established veteran turf campaigners Honor in War and Silverfoot will be among the favorites in Sunday's $100,000 Mac Diarmida Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
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