Dallas Turf Cup Attracts Mott-Trained Patrol

(from Lone Star track notes)
The Bill Mott-trained colt Patrol should be a solid favorite in a field of 11 entered for Saturday's $250,000 Dallas Turf Cup at Lone Star Park.

Patrol is the 7-5 choice in the 1 1/8-mile feature, part of the NTRA Summer Pick 3 to be broadcast over CBS Sports beginning at 4 p.m. CDT.

The 4-year-old colt has won five of his nine starts, including stakes at Delaware Park and The Meadowlands. Patrol appears to be blossoming this year, having won a Gulfstream Park allowance before he nearly went wire-to-wire in one of the best turf races in the country this year, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs.

In that race, Patrol finished third within two lengths of Honor in War and Requete, and also finished ahead of top horses like Perfect Drift, With Anticipation and Rouvres.

Mike Luzzi, tied for 10th in the Belmont Park jockey standings, will ride Patrol for owner Claiborne Farm.

The 9-2 second choice on the morning line is Statement, who defeated Woodford Reserve winner Honor in War two starts back in a $42,000 allowance at Gulfstream Park. The 5-year-old took three allowance events in a row at the South Florida racetrack this winter before finishing fifth in the Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) at Keeneland last time out.

Herberto Castillo Jr., another New York regular, has the mount for trainer John Kimmel and owner Juddmonte Farms.

A third shipper from a powerhouse stable, Slew the Red, 8-1 on the morning line, is the lone representative from Southern California, where the last two winners of this race have come from. Trained by Neil Drysdale, the 6-year-old has won five of 21 starts, all on turf, including his last outing in a $58,000 allowance at Hollywood Park. Slew the Red has traveled the world and is a veteran of the Breeders' Cup Turf, the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) at Belmont Park, and multiple group races in France.

Ridden by Southern California regular Matt Garcia for owner Gainsborough Farm, Slew the Red could follow in the footsteps of past West Coast-based Dallas Turf Cup winners Martiniquais (1999), El Gran Papa (2001) and Suances (2002).

But like previous major stakes races at this meeting, the shippers are going to face a strong cast of locally-based challengers. In six races this meeting with a purse of $150,000 or more, horses stabled at Lone Star Park have outrun the invaders in half of them.

The most accomplished turf horse on the grounds is millionaire Candid Glen, upset winner of the Explosive Bid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds in March. The 6-year-old gelding is 5-1 on the morning line, but his connections are still debating whether this is the right spot for the old warrior.

"We're on the fence right now," trainer Andy Leggio Jr. said Thursday. "[Owner Dr. Glen Warren] said to go ahead and enter. When he comes to town [Friday] we're going to go to dinner and sit down and discuss it. As far as I'm concerned, he's ready to run. He hasn't run too many good races on this track, though, and that's what I'm worried about."

Candid Glen finished off the board as the odds-on favorite in the local allowance prep for this race. He is winless in six starts at Lone Star Park since breaking his maiden and taking an entry-level allowance in 2000.

Should Candid Glen go for the big money, the "Sod God" E.J. Perrodin, who boasts at 24% win clip (14 for 58 entering this week) on the turf this meeting, will have the mount.

Also deserving of serious consideration is 6-1 morning line choice Honorable Pic, a new acquisition for the barn of leading trainer Cole Norman. The 6-year-old winner of multiple stakes in South Florida arrived at Lone Star Park from Calder Race Course last week.

"I don't know a lot about him," Norman said. "We'll lead him up there and see what he can do."

Honorable Pic was purchased by Mark Cornett of Turf Express Inc., currently third in the owner standings with 15 wins. Gerard Melancon, who already teamed with Norman and Turf Express to win the meeting's second-richest turf race with Eagle Lake in the WinStar Distaff (gr. IIIT), has the mount. Norman already has five stakes wins this season, including upsets in two of the meeting's four graded stakes.

$250,000 Dallas Turf Cup Handicap, 3 & up, 1 1/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Rider, Wgt., ML Odds
1. Storybook Kid (KY), Donald Simington, 113, 20/1
2. Statement (NY), Heberto Castillo, Jr., 114, 9/2
3. Honorable Pic (FL), Gerard Melancon, 114, 6/1
4. Kris Havingfunnow (FL), Jeremy Beasley, 114, 20/1
5. Maysville Slew (KY), Eddie M. Martin, Jr., 115, 20/1
6. Patrol (KY), Michael J. Luzzi, 118, 7/5
7. Best of K C (KY), Donald R. Pettinger, 114, 20/1
8. Dynameaux (KY), Roman Chapa, 113, 12/1
9. Candid Glen (KY), Elvis Joseph Perrodin, 118, 5/1
10. Rare Cure (TX), Monte Clifton Berry, 113, 30/1
11 Slew the Red (KY), Matt Garcia, 114, 8/1