S J Stables’ 9-year-old gelding Cloudy's Knight felt no effects of a more than one year layoff, as he took over in upper stretch and cruised to a comfortable 2 1/2-length win in the $150,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) Sept. 19 at Kentucky Downs.
A winner of three graded stakes in 2007 including the grade I Pattison Canadian International at Woodbine, Cloudy’s Knight went winless in four starts last year and was shut down after finishing eighth in the Northern Dancer (Can-I) last September and suffering a tendon injury. The son of Lord Avie, making his first start for Jonathan Sheppard, has earned more than $2 million and notched his sixth stakes victory.
, best known for an unexpected start in the 2008 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), set the pace in the 1 1/2-mile contest, and the Graeme Hall
gelding took the field of 10 around the turf course for more than 1 1/4 miles under Dean Mernagh. Stalking the pace was Rumor Has It
, while Independent George
was third. Rosemary Homeister Jr., never let Cloudy’s Knight get too far back though, as they raced for mid-pack much of the way and moved into striking position on the second turn.
Cloudy’s Knight finally took over from a tiring Guadalcanal nearing the three-sixteenths-pole while splitting rivals. The chestnut had a 2 1/2-length lead with a furlong to run and was never threatened in the stretch. Longshot Rezif
finished well for runner-up, 1 3/4 lengths in front of Silver Mountain
. The final time over a turf course labeled “good” was 2:33.96.
Cloudy’s Knight, who was bred in Kentucky by his owner, Jerrold Schwartz, and is out of the Solar City mare Cloudy Spot, garnered his 11th win in 37 lifetime starts. The $88,350 winner’s share bumped his earnings to $2,180,626. He was previously trained by Frank Kirby.
The winner paid $12.20, $3.40, and $2.60. The exacta (8-10) with 33-1 Rezif returned $502.40, while the trifecta (8-10-7) was a whopping $12,443.40.
Sheppard, a Hall of Famer, earned his third Kentucky Cup Turf victory.