Kentucky Downs has added a tenth race to its Saturday card, and a competitive field has been entered in the day's feature, the Grade III Kentucky Turf Cup.
The addition of a race to what had been planned as a nine-race card was made in response to strong support Kentucky Downs has received from horsemen who have entered horses in record numbers, according to Tia Murphy, Kentucky Downs racing secretary.
“We’ve been fortunate to have so many horsemen want to be a part of our biggest meet ever,” Murphy said. “It was an easy decision for us to make to add a race to the card for our marquee day of racing on Saturday.”
The additional race is a starter allowance for fillies and mares three-years-old and up at one mile with a purse of $23,000. The added race will be run as the second on Saturday’s card.
The past two winners of the Kentucky Turf Cup will square off, as defending champion Rahystrada and 2010 winner Rezif are among the eight horses entered in the $200,000 race.
Rahystrada’s trainer, Byron “Scooter” Hughes, has named Corey Lanerie to ride. The eight-year-old gelding comes in off a solid performance in the 2012 Arlington Million, closing strong to finish in a third-place dead heat just tree lengths behind winner Little Mike.
Rezif will be making his third start of 2012. The seven-year-old gelding has not won since taking the 2010 edition of Kentucky Downs’ marquee event. Roberto Morales has the mount for trainer Matthew Jacobsen.
Graded stakes winner Ioya Bigtime – who prevailed in the Grade III Stars and Stripes Stakes at Arlington Park and then ran second in the American St. Leger Stakes on Arlington Million Day – looms a major threat to the defending champion. Graded stakes placed horses Tahoe Lake, Kindergarten Kid, and Cozy Kitten, along with Canaveral and Lake Drop, round out the field.
The Kentucky Turf Cup is one of four stakes races that will highlight the meet’s marquee day. First post time for Kentucky Turf Cup Day is 1:35 p.m. CT, 2:35 ET. The other three stakes are the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon Stakes (race 3), the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes (race 7) and the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Stakes (race 8).
--Edited Kentucky Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey