Blazing Fury, who arrived from New York late Wednesday afternoon for Saturday's $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, jogged on the training track during a rainy Thursday morning. Assistant Danny Dubuc is overseeing final preparations for the 3-year-old gelding until trainer Jim Toner arrives Friday night."I'm originally from New England, so this weather does not seem that bad," said Dubuc, a Boston native. "We came in around 6:30 yesterday, and the horse handled the trip fine. I jogged him a mile this morning on the training track around 8 o'clock, when the track was still good. I just let him stretch his muscles."Blazing Fury, to be ridden by Corey Nakatani, has won two of seven starts and earned $266,690 for owner-breeders Caesar Kimmel and Ron Nicholson. He has come on strong during the second half of the year with a victory in the grade III Saranac Handicap at Saratoga and fourth-place finishes in the grade I Turf Classic and Breeders' Cup Turf, both at Belmont."I don't think some rain on this course will hurt him," said Dubuc. "The turf was a little soft for the Saranac, and he handled it well." Dubuc said the horse would be flown to Florida Tuesday to rejoin the Toner stable there. Blazing Fury seeks to become the first 3-year-old to win the grade I test at 1 ½ miles on grass since Bien Bien was elevated to first in 1992 after the disqualification of Fraise for interference in the stretch.Four other sophomores have beaten their elders in the previous 20 runnings: The Hague and Prince Spellbound in 1982 divisions, Alphabatim in 1984 and Itsallgreektome in 1990.Trainer Craig Dollase entered a second sophomore in the Turf Cup, Momentum. The 3-year-old English import was originally scheduled for the Hollywood Derby Sunday after a runner-up finish in the Bien Bien Stakes in his United States debut Nov. 7, but was relegated to the also-eligible list when the field overfilled beyond its maximum of 14. Dollase's father, Wally, trained Itsallgreektome.In addition to Blazing Fury, the lineup will also include two other newcomers from New York. Sumitas, winner of the grade II Knickerbocker Handicap at Belmont in his last start, will make his California debut for trainer Bobby Frankel, who also sends out 3 Plus U Stable stablemates Super Quercus and Northern Quest.
Williams News, a hard-knocking 6-year-old gelding, will try to go over the $1-million mark in career earnings after joining the Jenine Sahadi stable last week. Racing against the top distance horses on the continent, the Alleged gelding has been in the money in 28 of 36 starts for trainer Tom Amoss and earned $920,881. Most recently, he finished fifth in the grade II Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct Nov. 17.The field for the Turf Cup consists of:
1--Monsajem, 126, Gary Stevens
2--Northern Quest, 126, Chris McCarron
3--Boismorand, 123, Goncalino Almeida
4--Momentum, 126, Garrett Gomez
5--Williams News, 126, Mike Smith
6--Lord Jim, 126, Tyler Baze
7--Bonapartiste, 126, Jose Valdivia Jr.
8--Most Likely, 126, Laffit Pincay Jr.;
9--Kudos, 126, Eddie Delahoussaye
10--Sumitas, 126, Kent Desormeaux
11--Kerrygold, 126, David Flores
12--Blazing Fury, 122, Corey Nakatani
13--Super Quercus, 126, Alex Solis.Monsajem and Kerrygold are coupled as a Red Baron's Barn entry, while Lord Jim and Sumitas are coupled as a Gary Tanaka-owned entry.