Master David Gets Turf Opportunity in Kent BC

(from Delaware Park)
Master David is entered in the $250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) on the Delaware Park turf Saturday. The 1 1/8-mile Kent has attracted a field of nine 3-year-olds.

After battling in the Triple Crown events, Georgica Stable, Stephen Mack and Star Crown Stable's Master David will be making his grass debut in the United States for trainer Bobby Frankel. During his 2-year-old campaign the son of Grand Slam broke his maiden on the grass in England before shipping to North America and running second in the 1 1/8-mile Remsen Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct on Nov. 29.

In his last outing, the Kentucky-bred ran seventh in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) June 5. Previously, he ran third in the 1 1/8-mile Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park on May 22. He finished unplaced in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after running second, beaten by a half-length, in the April 10 Wood Memorial (gr. I). He has a career record of two wins, four seconds, and two thirds from ten outings with earnings of $288,756. His turf record is a win and two seconds from three outings, all in England, with earnings of $11,916.

The probable second choice is Icy Atlantic, who is unbeaten in two career turf outings. In his last, the son of Stormy Atlantic  notched a 1 1/2-length triumph in the 1 1/16-mile Jersey Derby (r. IIIT) over the Monmouth lawn on May 31. Previously, the Florida-bred trained by Todd Pletcher won a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance at Aqueduct on April 24. He has a career mark of three wins and a second from six starts with earnings of $122,700.

Commendation, the top local connection hails from the H. Graham Motion stable. In five outings this year, Commendation has not had a victory. In his last outing, the son of Capote ran second beaten to Icy Atlantic in the Jersey Derby. Previously, the Kentucky-bred ran fifth beaten a 1 1/2-lengths in the one mile Translyvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf on April 2.

His last victory came on Oct. 24 when he won the 1 1/16-mile $100,000 Bourbon County Stakes on the Keeneland sod. His career record is three wins, a second and a third from 11 starts with earnings of $174,815.

Motion is both pleased and frustrated with Commendation. He has done well in his last four outings, but has no wins to show for them.

"Every time he runs he is only beaten a couple of lengths," said Motion. "I think his last race was probably his best race of the year in the Jersey Derby when he was really closing at the end, but the winner kind of got the jump on him a little bit. But I thought that last race was a very solid effort. Last time, we tried to close from off the pace. We took him back a little further than we have been. I think that was a key for him running such a solid race."

Motion thinks the extra half-furlong Saturday may improve his performance as well.

"Coming off his last race that is one of the reasons we picked this race," he said. "I think it should help him. It looked like that if the race the other day was a mile and an eighth, he might have got there."

$250,000 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT), 3-year-olds, 1 1/8 mile on turf
1. Master David, Robert Frankel, Jose Santos, 117, 7/5
2. Wire Bound, Manuel Criollo, Paul Toscano, 115, 8-1
3. Big Booster, John Kimmel, Mario Pino, 115, 6-1
4. Timo, William Badgett, Richard Migliore, 117, 5-1
5. Icy Atlantic, Todd Pletcher, C.C. Lopez, 117, 9/2
6. Second Performance, David Donk TBA, 115, 20-1
7. King's Coronation, Julio Cartagena, Norberto Arroyo, 115, 30-1
8. Expletive, Michael Matz, Richard Monterrey, 115, 12-1
9. Commendation, H. Graham Motion, Ramon Dominguez, 115, 8-1