Honest Man Hopes to Punch 'Cup' Ticket

Honest Man Hopes to Punch 'Cup' Ticket
Photo: Rick Samuels
Honest Man, who won the Iselin (gr. II), heads the list of probables for the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park.
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Six horses, including Philip Iselin Handicap (gr. II) winner Honest Man, are considered probable for the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 27.

Along with Honest Man, who is trained by Larry Jones, Bullsbay (trained by Graham Motion), Extreme Supreme (John Ward Jr.), Stream Cat (George “Rusty” Arnold), Yate’s Black Cat (Dale Romans), and Zanjero (Steve Asmussen) are expected for the $350,000 race. Several others were on the fence as of Sept. 22.

Jones, who won the Kentucky Cup Classic last year with Hard Spun, said Honest Man has been progressing steadily in his training on the Tapeta surface at Fair Hill in Maryland and “acts like a synthetic horse.” Honest Man has four wins and a third from six starts this year, including the Iselin.

“If he runs like Hard Spun did last year, we’ll definitely aim for the Breeders’ Cup with him,” Jones said.

Honest Man is scheduled to ship to Turfway Sept. 2, along with stablemates Maren’s Meadow, expected for the Kentucky Cup Distaff (gr. III), and Beyond Ready, who is pointed toward the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III).  Jones will take all three to the track the morning of Sept. 25.

“We’ll see how they made the trip and do whatever they tell me they want to do,” Jones said.

Stream Cat won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) in 2005 and returned last year to finish third in the Classic behind Hard Spun and Street Sense. He won the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) two starts back and was sixth, beaten just 4 1/2 lengths, last time out in the Arlington Million (gr. IT).

Trained by Patrick Biancone before those starts, Stream Cat came to Arnold’s barn in May from co-owner Fabien Ouaki’s Fab Oak Farm, where he had been turned out since October 2007.

“He’s doing great,” Arnold said. “He likes the Polytrack and has run well at Turfway, so we’re expecting a big race from him.”

Stream Cat will ship to Turfway on race day with stablemate Devil House, who is expected for the Distaff.

Bullsbay has been under the care of Graham Motion for only a couple of weeks. “He had been with Eric Kruljack in California, but the owners (Mitchell Ranch LLC, Frank Lewkowitz, and Joe Rice) felt there were more options where we could run him in the East,” Motion said.

Bullsbay has made seven starts, all on California’s all-weather tracks, and has two wins and three seconds.  Last out he was fourth in the Pirate’s Bounty Handicap at Del Mar.

“They ran him short last time just to get a race in him,” Motion said. “He needs the distance.  He definitely likes the surface. Now we want to find out if he’s competitive against (graded stakes horses).”

Bullsbay is scheduled to arrive at Turfway Sept. 25 with stablemate Drop a Line, who is expected for the Distaff. Both will gallop on the Polytrack Sept. 26.

In addition to Maren’s Meadow, Devil House, and Drop a Line, probables for the Distaff include Bear Now (trained by Reade Baker), Fancy Fusaichi (Bill Mott), Left Correct (Jeff Talley), Tazarine (D. Wayne Lukas), and Unforgotten (Dallas Stewart).

Maren’s Meadow won the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) at Turfway in March. “We want to be sure her win on the synthetic wasn’t a fluky deal,” Jones said. “If she runs well again, we’ll know where to put her this winter,” Jones said.

Drop a Line comes off a nose win in the Windward Stakes on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs & Casino. “She likes the surface,” Motion said, “and this is a good opportunity to get a graded win with her.”

With Devil House already a stakes winner, owner Glencrest Farm is looking for her to step up to graded company in the Distaff. “We want to get her graded stakes-placed to add to her value as a broodmare,” Arnold said. “If she won, that would be icing on the cake.”

Devil House worked four furlongs in :48 at Monmouth the week of Sept. 7 before shipping to Keeneland to train on Polytrack. She will ship to Turfway the morning of the race.

Probables for the Kentucky Cup Juvenile include Gresham (trained by James Baker), Just Like Biscuit (Adrienne Moore), Proud Jefe (Tom Amoss), Retap (Steve Asmussen), Tar Beach (Ken McPeek), and West Side Bernie (Kelly Breen).

Probables for the Sprint are Beyond Ready (Jones), Eaton’s Gift (Romans), Fatal Bullet (Reade Baker), Gentleman James (Myra Mora), Golden Spikes (Martin Wolfson), Hatta Fort (Saeed bin Suroor), Nautical Storm (D. Wayne Lukas), No Advantage (Doug O’Neill), Papa (Dallas Stewart), Salute the Sarge (Eric Guillot), Silver Sword (Shannon Ritter), and That’s Grand (Ray Tracy Jr.).

Probables for the Juvenile Fillies, the only one of the five Cup stakes without a grade, are Believe in Me (Timothy Hamm), Bold Union (Breen), Complicity (Mike Maker), Dream Empress (McPeek), Juliet’s Spirit (Asmussen), Magalicious (Romans), Saxxy Rose Lee (Joe Cain), and Westline (David Vance).

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