Castleton Lyons’ Laureate Conductor is the 3-2 morning line favorite for the 1 1/8-mile Kent Stakes (gr. IIIT) Sept. 5 at Delaware Park. With A.R. Napravnik aboard, the Bernstein colt will break from the No. 6 post position in the field of seven 3-year-olds. He scored in the 1 1/8-mile Choice Stakes on grass at Momouth Park July 5 and finished third in the 1 ¼-mile Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 8 at Arlington Park for trainer Christophe Clement.
But Fox Hill Farms' Dr Large could be peaking at the right time. Since trying turf for the first time in June , the son of A.P. Indy has won twice and finished second once. He is coming into the Kent off of a neck victory over Shine for Steve in the one-mile Capital City Stakes at Penn National Aug. 1.
Dr Large’s rider for the Kent will be Justin Sheppard.
“He has taken to the turf well,” said Dr Large’s trainer, Larry Jones. “He seems to be a horse that is on the improve. Don’t get me wrong; the Kent is a big task for him. He is going to be looking at horses in this spot that he has not had to face yet. But he did beat Flying Private on the dirt down at Oaklawn. Flying Private ran well in the (BlackBerry) Preakness (gr. I), so he has faced quality horses. Hopefully, he (Dr Large) is still improving; the A.P. Indys get better with age. We are just going to keep our fingers crossed and hope we are good enough to get the job done.”
The morning line’s second choice, at 3-1, Al Khali has captured three of his nine career races. The Medaglia d'Oro ridgling finished third in the Aug. 14 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIIT) in his most recent outing, and he was second in the A Gift Stakes on grass at Belmont Park in July.
Colonel Rutledge won a 1 1/16-mile allowance/optional claiming race by 3 3/4 lengths at Laurel Aug. 9 in his first start on turf since he made his career debut last year at Ellis Park and edged Rocket Rocket by three-quarters of a length at 5 1/2 furlongs. Racing on dirt in between, Colonel Rutledge (by Orientate) won the 2008 James C. Ellis Juvenile Stakes at Ellis Park. He also finished second in the Marine Stakes at Woodbine and third in the Tall Ships Stakes at Presque Isle Downs earlier this year.
"Right after his last race, this race came to mind," said Colonel Rutledge’s trainer Graham Motion. "He is really doing well, and I think this is a great opportunity for him. To be honest, it is hard to knock what this horse has done. He is a very consistent horse, and it was great to get him in a nice spot last time where he really got a confidence builder."
In six career races, Colonel Rutledge has finished worse than third only once.
$250,000 Grade III Kent Stakes
(include $50,000 from Breeders' Cup Fund)
1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP, HORSE, JOCKEY, WEIGHT, ODDS
1, Boots Ahead, Jeremy Rose, 116, 8-1
2, No Inflation, Rosemary Homeister, 116, 12-1
3, Out At Night, Joseph Rocco Jr., 116,15-1
4, Dr Large , Justin Sheppard , 118, 5-1
5, Al Khali , David Cohen, 116, 3-1
6, Laureate Conductor, A.R. Napravnik, 116, 3/2
7, Colonel Rutledge, Luis Garcia, 116,6-1