Gold Mark Farm’s Proud Jefe hasn’t started yet around two turns, but a pair of sprint wins make him the one to beat in the Sept. 27 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III), worth $100,000, at 1 1/16 miles. The Proud Citizen colt is the only one in the field of eight with as many as two wins.
Proud Jefe showed speed in his two victories, both at 5 1/2 furlongs. He led at every call in his first win, at Churchill Downs, then took the Brian Barenscheer Juvenile Stakes at Canterbury after getting the lead partway through the race. The latter effort earned the Tom Amoss trainee a spot in the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II), but he failed to mount much of a threat in the stretch and was beaten about eight lengths. Corey Lanerie rides for the first time.
Sir Bubba, by Five Star Day, should get some support in that he is the sole runner in the field to have started at Turfway. Owned by Sherry Napier and trained by William Napier, he won over the Polytrack surface Sept. 3. Otto Thorwarth rides again.
Trainer Steven Asmussen’s charge Retap sports a pair of stakes-placings in his last two starts, the most recent being the Mountaineer Juvenile Stakes at six furlongs. Owned by Winchell Thoroughbreds, the son of Tapit again will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.
Gresham, who won over Arlington’s synthetic surface in his last start, figures to like the extra distance.Trained by James Baker, the son of Seeking the Goldmade up ground to win by about three lengths for Courtlandt Farms. Julien Laparoux rides for the first time.
Just Like Biscuit is the only one of the group with a race as far as 1 1/16 miles. The Sligo Bayrunner trained by Adrienne Moore didn’t break his maiden until he tried running as far as a mile, then ran a good fourth in the Miller Lite Cradle Stakes at the Kentucky Cup distance for owners Moorehaven Farms and Mistletoe Farms. Bonnie Castaneda rides him again.
The three remaining entrants are Tar Beach, who closed well to break his maiden at Saratoga last time out; Da Bear Facts, who won at a mile over Presque Isle’s synthetic track in his last race; and West Side Bernie, whose only race resulted in a victory at Monmouth Park at a mile and 70 yards after racing close to the pace.
The $100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint Stakes (gr. III) precedes the Juvenile and pits 10 3-year-old speedsters going six furlongs. Fatal Bullet, by Red Bullet, appears ready to be put to the test by virtue of consecutive wins in the Bold Venture Stakes at Woodbine in track-record time over a synthetic surface and the Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes at Presque Isle in his last two starts.
Eaton’s Gift is the only other one in the race with as many as two stakes wins this year. The son of Johannesburg won the Swale Stakes (gr. II) in the winter and the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs in the spring.
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III, Race 8, 4:55 p.m.) 2_year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
Post Horse Trainer Jockey Weight
1 Sir Bubba William Napier Otto Thorwarth 114
2 Gresham James Baker Julien Leparoux 114
3 Proud Jefe Thomas Amoss Corey Lanerie 118
4 Retap Steven Asmussen Shaun Bridgmohan 114
5 Tar Beach Kenneth McPeek Miguel Mena 114
6 Da Bear Facts Timothy Hamm Brian Hernandez Jr. 114
7 West Side Bernie Kelly Breen Stewart Elliott 114
8 Just Like Biscuit Adrienne Moore Bonnie Castaneda 114
$100,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III, Race 7, 4:21 p.m.) 3-Year-Olds, Six Furlongs
Post Horse Trainer Jockey Weight
1. Nautical Storm D. Wayne Lukas Miguel Mena 118
2. Eaton’s Gift Dale Romans Shaun Bridgmohan 122
3. That’s Grand Ray Tracy Jr. Otto Thorwarth 118
4. Hatta Fort Saeed bin Suroor Julien Leparoux 118
5. Fatal Bullet Reade Baker Eurico Rosa Da Silva 122
6. Salute the Sarge Eric Guillot Corey Lanerie 118
7. Gentleman James Myra Mora Manny Aguilar 118
8. Beyond Ready J. Larry Jones Terry Thompson 118
9. Silver Sword Shannon Ritter Stewart Elliott 118
10 No Advantage Doug O’Neill Brian Hernandez Jr. 118