Trainer Howard Scarberry saddled Silent Pleasure to six wins from 15 career starts thus far, with four of those victories coming consecutively in blacktype races. But the 4-year-old son of Real Quiet may have to face down stiff competition from Michael Langford’s Jonesboro, who is coming off a fourth-place finish behind Flashy Bull in the June 18 Stephen Foster (gr. I) at Churchill Downs and looks to be primed for his first win since February.
A son of Sefapiano, Jonesboro last won the Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park when he wired the field enroute to a 5 3/4-length victory. From 20 career starts, he has six wins and earnings of $402,115. His last four starts resulted in game third- and fourth-place finishes in tough races behind Magna Graduate in the Razorback Handicap (gr. III), Lawyer Ron in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II), and Bob and John in the Lone Star Park Handicap (gr. II), and trainer Randy Morse is hoping the slight drop in class will provide the 5-year-old horse with the slight edge he requires.
Not to be discounted is Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) winner Dry Martini, who makes a switch to trainer Barclay Tagg and takes a step up after consecutive victories in the May 28 race and a March 2 allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream. The 4-year-old son of Slew Gin Fizz ran a three-race winning streak back in the summer of 2006, boosting his career total to five victories. He has never been worse than fourth in 13 starts for owners Carol and George Nyren.
2006 Ohio Derby (gr. II) winner Deputy Glitters, who has been struggling for Trainer Greg Fox since that win in July 2006, will seek his first win of the season in this race. The 4-year-old son of Deputy Commander was ninth in his last start, beaten 12 lengths by Memorial Day Handicap winner Puppeteer at Mountaineer May 28, and had finished seventh and eighth in two previous races.
Watzata Bay, Alpha Tejano, Smokeyjonessutton, More than Regal, and Barbican round out the field.
Cornhusker Breeders Cup Handicap (gr. II, race 8, approximate post 10:00 p.m.), $300,000 for 3-year-olds and upward, one and one eighth miles on the dirt.
1. Wayzata Bay, Carlos Montalvo, 114
2. Alpha Tejano, Belen Quinonez, 112
3. Silent Pleasure, Tracy Herbert, 121
4. Smokeyjonessutton, Julien Leparoux, 112
5. Patriot Act, Robby Albarado, 115
6. Deputy Glitters, Terry Thompson, 114
7. Jonesboro, Jamie Theriot, 116
8. More than Regal, Luis Quinonez, 114
9. Dry Martini, Elvis Trujillo, 115
10. Barbican, Mark Guidry, 112