Kentucky Cup Juvenile Up For Grabs

Ten are entered for the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) Sept. 29 at Turfway Park.

Of the 10 colts entered in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 29, only T.J.’s Posse owns multiple wins on his résumé. But the son of Posse-T.J.’s Turn struggled a bit on his first synthetic surface effort earlier this month, so even he cannot be considered a solid favorite in the wide-open 1 1/16-test for 2-year-olds on Polytrack.

Bred in Virginia by Larry Johnson and owned by Vinery Stables, T.J.’s Posse delivered a maiden claiming victory at Churchill Downs in June and followed that up with a win in the six-furlong Jamestown Stakes at Colonial Downs Aug. 7. Both were earned by coming from well off the pace.

But when the Steve Asmussen-trained bay colt stretched out to a mile in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr.III) Sept.1 on Polytrack, that same closing kick was nowhere to be found as he finished six lengths back in fourth.

T.J.’s Posse will carry four pounds more than the rest of the field and leave from the outside 10 post with jockey Mario Pino aboard.

Blackberry Road was also in the Arlington-Washington Futurity, finishing a well-beaten seventh for Dogwood Stable. But the Gone West colt is the only other runner in the Kentucky Cup Juvenile field with a graded stakes effort under his belt, making him an automatic contender. In fact, Blackberry Road, who is trained by David Carroll, has attempted two graded stakes, the other coming July 7 in the Bashford Manor (gr.III) at Churchill, where he finished fourth.

Perhaps the most intriguing colts to watch are Texas Fever and Chitoz. Stonerside Stable’s homebred Texas Fever has raced three times over Polytrack, winning the last time out by 5 3/4 lengths in front-running fashion. A son of Victory Gallop-Fortyniner Fever, he is trained by Michael Stidham.

Chitoz, by Forest Wildcat, out of Wichitoz, has started twice. The second effort came in a maiden special weight at Monmouth Park Aug. 23, where he won the mile trek by a whopping 10 1/4 lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher. But even that victory has a question mark behind it, as it came over a sloppy track.

The field is completed by Shekinah, Horse Doctor, Citizen John, Delaware Manor, Pulaski Runner and Poni Colada.

Also on the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions card is the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. The 12-horse field has four multiple winners, including Carl Pollard’s Kadira, the lone filly with a stakes victory. She will carry a race-high 118 pounds.

Trained by David Vance, Kadira broke her maiden at Churchill in June and two races later won the $100,000 Coca-Cola Bassinet Stakes by a nose over Dreabons Legacy, who is also in the Juvenile Fillies field. Larry Melancon will ride Kadira, who leaves from post 5.

Sky Mom, Sumwhrovrtherainbw and Palanka City are the others who have won twice. Latest Scoop, The High Queen, Carnival City, Yesshesarocket, De Star Xpress, Love Buzz and Mims Eppi round out the field. Pure Clan is an also eligible.

$100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III, Race 8, 4:41 p.m.), 2-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Shekinah (TX), 114, Jamie Theriot
2. Horse Doctor (KY), 114, Randall Toups
3. Citizen John (KY), 114, Larry Melancon
4. Delaware Manor (FL), 114, John McKee
5. Pulaski Runner (KY), 114, Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.
6. Poni Colada (KY), 114, Terry J. Thompson
7. Blackberry Road (KY), 114, Calvin H. Borel
8. Texas Fever (KY), 114, Julien R. Leparoux
9. Chitoz (KY), 114, Christopher P. DeCarlo
10. T. J.'s Posse (VA), 118, Mario G. Pino