Favored Temeraine, given a rail-skimming trip by Hall of Fame rider Gary Stevens, slipped through for a neck victory in the $399,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (gr. IIIT) on a stakes-filled afternoon at Kentucky Downs Sept. 14 (VIDEO).
Coming off a no-disgrace fifth in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) one month ago, the 5-year-old homebred son of Arch tallied his first stakes win for Niall Racing and trainer Tom Proctor. Stevens rode the dark bay for the first time in the 1 1/2-mile event over the undulating turf course, which was completed in a time of 2:29.18 over firm ground.
Olympic Thunder, who took the lead from pacesetter Whatthecatdrugin entering the homestretch for Alan Garcia, was edged for the win while finishing one length clear of Suntracer and Eddie Castro.
Temeraine was forwardly placed while well covered along the inside in the seven-horse field. Stevens waited patiently through a half mile in :51.51, three-quarters in 1:17.44, and 10 furlongs in 2:05.94 before slipping through on the inside at the top of the stretch, and Temeraine won the duel to the wire over a game Olympic Thunder.
Suntracer, who tipped out four wide in the stretch and was in good position to get the win, flattened out to be third. He was followed by Potomac River, Amen Kitten, Side Road, and Whatthecatdrugin.
Temeraine, out of the multiple stakes-winning Known Fact mare Lonely Fact, was bred in Kentucky by Donald and Michael Niall. He improved his career mark to 5-1-2 in 16 races with earnings of $436,493.
The winner paid $6.40, $3.80, and $2.80 as the slight choice over Suntracer. The Brazilian-bred Olympic Thunder returned $5 and $4, while completing a $51.20 exacta. Suntracer paid $3 to show. Najjaar and Royal Bench scratched.
All five turf stakes on the Kentucky Downs card were won by favorites.
A race before the Turf Cup,Coalport ($6) came from off the pace under Channing Hill to nose out Trend for victory in the $123,917 Franklin-Simpson Mile Stakes. Coalport, a 4-year-old son of Kitten's Joy out of the Saint Ballado mare Ballado's Girl, is a homebred for Ken and Sarah Ramsey and is trained by Wayne Catalano. The winning time was 1:35.86 (VIDEO).
Another favorite, British-bred Longhunter ($7.80), under Garcia, outlasted Xbalanque by half a length in the $137,050 Kentucky Downs Turf Dash. The 5-year-old Halling gelding also races for the Ramseys and is trained by Mike Maker. D D and Mrs. Jean P. Clee bred the winner, who won for the fourth time in his past five races. The final time was 1:10.28 (VIDEO).
The $117,250 Kentucky Downs Juvenile also went to a favorite, Boji Moon ($4.80), who was ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. for partners Brian Hall, William Gessman, and River Ridge Ranch, and trainer Chris Richard. The Cactus Ridge gelding, bred in Iowa by Okoboji Racing Stable, cruised by 5 1/4 lengths over Here's Johnny while completing seven furlongs in 1:23.24 (VIDEO).
Lien on Kitten ($5.80) was the first of three stakes winners for the Ramseys in the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies, circling the field for a 1 1/2-length triumph over J J Julep while completing seven furlongs in 1:24.77. The winner, bred by the Ramseys, is by Kittens Joy out of Mortgage the House, by Chester House. She is trained by Catalano and was ridden by Hill (VIDEO).