08/19/2010 1:33PM

Atta Boy Roy heavy favorite in Remington Park Sprint Cup


The $200,000 Remington Park Sprint Cup on Saturday night could be Atta Boy Roy’s final prep for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He has established himself as an elite member of the division over the last several months, with a sparkling win in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard in May and a runner-up finish to future Grade 1 winner Majesticperfection in the $125,000 Iowa Sprint Handicap in June.

The credentials will make Atta Boy Roy a short-priced favorite against six others in the Remington Sprint, which will share a card with the $150,000 Governor’s Cup. Both races are for 3-year-olds and up, with the Sprint to be run at six furlongs and the Governor’s Cup at 1 1/16 miles. The races are the first stakes of the meet.

Atta Boy Roy’s form is littered with triple-digit Beyer Figures, including a 104 for his second-place finish in the Iowa Sprint in his last start June 25. He arrived at Remington on Wednesday from his Churchill base, and trainer Valorie Lund said the trip to Oklahoma City had been planned for a while.

“When we were looking for races and plotted out a course for him early in the year on how to go to the Breeders’ Cup, this race fell very well into our schedule,” she said. “There’s a good chance this will be his final race before the Breeders’ Cup. He runs well fresh, so that’s a real, live possibility.”

Atta Boy Roy was the favorite in the Iowa Sprint and finished four lengths behind Majesticperfection, who was a wire-to-wire winner. A little over a month later, Majesticperfection established himself as arguably the nation’s top sprinter with a dominant win in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga. Atta Boy Roy, meanwhile, has been working sharply at Churchill for the Remington Sprint. He will break from post 2 under regular rider Calvin Borel.

“I would guess we’ll probably be right up there setting the pace or pushing it early, breaking from the two hole,” Lund said. “But I’ll leave that to Calvin Borel.”

Greeley’s Conquest, the race’s defending champ, will break from post 6. He is making his first start since November, with Martin Escobar to ride for trainer Gary Thomas.

Jonesboro, a Grade 2 winner who has earned $1.4 million, cuts back from two turns for the Sprint, and multiple Grade 3 winner Lantana Mob could be a threat Saturday.

Shadowbdancing leads Governor’s Cup

Shadowbdancing will be looking to recapture his best form in the Governor’s Cup following a head-scratching double-digit defeat in the $125,000 West Virginia Governors at Mountaineer. Shadowbdancing was the favorite off a win in the Grade 2 Cornhusker at Prairie Meadows but finished last while being eased in the race run Aug. 7.

“The only explanation I can give is that it was a bad day,” trainer Terrel Gore said. “It was more or less like a no-race. I expect him to run like his self Saturday. He’s run 25 times and has never really run a bad race other than the other day and [in a few starts] on Polytrack. The horse is fine, and I expect him to run big.”

Shadowbdancing, who was to arrive Thursday from Chicago, has trained well up to the Governor’s Cup. Gore said the timing of the race was a nice fit; Shadowbdancing is a candidate for the Grade 2, $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup back home in Chicago on Oct. 2.

“There’s hardly anything to run in between now and the Gold Cup at Hawthorne,” Gore said. “There’s very few things to do with him. I didn’t want to wait two months to run when we didn’t have an effort the last time.”

Eddie Razo, the regular rider on Shadowbdancing, has the mount from post 4 in the field of seven. The chief threat could be Going Ballistic, the race’s defending champ who is 3 for 3 over the main track at Remington.