Having turned in an impressive second-place effort in last month’s Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) following a layoff of more than eight months, Red Knight is among several serious contenders in Thursday’s $150,000 Sycamore Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.
Sent off at 9-2 despite not having run since January, Red Knight acquitted himself splitting Arklow, who had also won the Kentucky Turf Cup in 2018, and Zulu Alpha, the 2019 Turf Cup winner and an acknowledged leader in the turf male division this season. The Sycamore will mark Red Knight’s second trip over 1 1/2 miles of Keeneland’s turf, the first resulting in a narrow loss in the 2019 Elkhorn (G2).
United Nations (G1) winner Aquaphobia is one of two Mike Maker entries in the Sycamore lineup. After posting a 10-1 upset in that Monmouth Park fixture two back, the 7-year-old finished a distant ninth to Channel Maker in the Sword Dancer (G1) at Saratoga. Maker also saddles Big Agenda, who is 2-for-2 in allowance company since joining the stable over the summer.
Postulation, a close second to Zulu Alpha in the July 12 Elkhorn, weakened to fifth in the Kentucky Turf Cup after pressing the pace. The 8-year-old veteran finished third in last year’s Sycamore, but faces a seemingly tougher field this time.
The field of 10 also includes French import Ziyad, most recently beaten 3 1/2 lengths when trailing a field of six in the Prix Foy (G2) at Longchamp won by Epsom Derby (G1) winner Anthony Van Dyck with staying phenom Stradivarius second. The Group 2 winner has narrowly missed in the last two editions of the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) and was a closely-beaten third as the favorite in last year’s Canadian International (G1) when last setting foot in North America.
|STAKES. 1 1/2 Miles Turf. Purse $150,000. Sycamore S.. FOR THREE YEAR OLDS AND UPWARD. (04:57PM) (10)|
|1||Postulation||8 G||L||121||Leparoux Julien R.||Matz Michael R.|
|2||Red Knight||6 G||L||121||Graham James||Mott William I.|
|3||He’s No Lemon||4 G||L||121||Bejarano Rafael||Motion H. Graham|
|4||Split the Wickets||4 C||L||121||Hernandez Colby J.||Van Berg Thomas L.|
|5||Big Agenda||5 G||L||121||Gaffalione Tyler||Maker Michael J.|
|6||Aquaphobia||7 H||L||125||Geroux Florent||Maker Michael J.|
|7||North Dakota||4 C||L||121||Lanerie Corey J.||McGaughey III Claude R.|
|8||Morning Stride||5 H||L||121||Saez Gabriel||McGoey Monica|
|9||Eons||4 C||L||121||Hernandez, Jr. Brian Joseph||Delacour Arnaud|
|10||Ziyad (GB)||5 G||L||121||Franco Manuel||Motion H. Graham|