June 23, 2024

Arklow seeks third Turf Cup; Princess Grace heads Ladies Turf

Arklow wins the 2020 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs (Coady Photography)

The $1 million Calumet Turf Cup (G2) and $750,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf (G3) are among five lucrative stakes being offered on a dynamite 11-race Saturday program at Kentucky Downs.

Calumet Turf Cup (G2) – Race 9 (5:44 p.m. ET)

A “Win & You’re In” for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Del Mar, the 1 1/2-mile race has attracted Arklow, who seek his third Turf Cup victory after taking the 2018 and 2020 editions.

The seven-year-old Grade 1 victor has bankrolled more than $2.7 million under the direction of Brad Cox, and Arklow is eligible to improve upon a fast-closing seventh, beaten less than two lengths, in the Del Mar H. (G2) on Aug. 21. Regular rider Florent Geroux guides the 3-1 morning line favorite.

A field of 16, including four also-eligible runners, has been entered, and Channel Cat should be prominent from the start for Jack Sisterson and John Velazquez. A front-running winner of the Man o’ War (G1) at Belmont Park in mid-May, the five-year-old exits a decent fourth in the July 31 Bowling Green (G2) at Saratoga. Channel Cat is listed as the early 9-2 second choice.

Zulu Alpha, the 20019 Turf Cup winner, and Grade 3 scorer Tide of the Sea comes next at 6-1 on the morning line for Mike Maker. Zulu Alpha has tons of back class, but the eight-year-old will be seeking his first win since taking the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland 14 months ago. Ricardo Santa Jr. rides. Tide of the Sea, runner-up to subsequent Grade 1 winner Gufo two starts back, figures to show speed with Luis Saez.

Other runners of note include United Nations (G1) runner-up Imperador; Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup winner Bluegrass Parkway; Belmon6t Gold Cup (G2) runner-up Fantasioso; and Mr. D. S. (G1) third Glynn County.

Ladies Turf (G3) – Race 7 (4:34 p.m. ET)

Princess Grace will seek to continue her ascension in the distaff turf ranks when she squares off against eight rivals in the Ladies Turf. A winner in 5-of-6 career starts, the four-year-old Karakontie filly will be seeking her fourth consecutive graded triumph in the mile affair.

Her current win streak began in the off-the-turf Mrs. Revere (G2) at Churchill Downs last fall. After returning this year with a narrow tally in the Dr. James Penny Memorial (G3) at Parx in early July, Princess Grace shipped west to post a 1 1/4-length victory in the Aug. 7 Yellow Ribbon (G2) at Del Mar. Geroux will be up for Michael Stidham on the 2-1 morning line pick.

Winner of the 1 3/8-mile Robert G. Dick Memorial (G3) two back, Dalika will cut back for Graham Motion following four consecutive attempts at longer distances. Joel Rosario picks up the mount on the gray frontrunning mare.

Shifty She also brings good speed to the mix, finishing third most recently after setting the pace in the Aug. 8 De La Rose S. at Saratoga. Irad Ortiz guides the multiple stakes winner for Saffie Joseph.

Abscond merits respect following a close second in the July 24 Nassau (G2) at Woodbine, and hard-hitting She’sonthewarpath can’t be dismissed from top three consideration following back-to-back wins in the Kentucky Downs Preview Ladies Mile S. and Ellis Park Turf S.