07/07/2005 11:00PM

Bashford may offer glimpse of future star


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The curtain comes down Sunday at Churchill Downs, but not before one last hurrah. The 2-year-olds who will clash in the closing-day feature, the $150,000 Bashford Manor Stakes, are as yet undistinguished, but the stage could be set for a star to emerge.

The favorite on the Churchill morning line, Deputy G, is 4-1, an inordinately high number that reflects the depth of the 10-horse lineup.

, owned by the Spade Stable syndicate and trained by David Pate, struck a good impression in winning his only start May 14. As often happens when a 2-year-old wins in the fashion he did, his owners have fielded a number of offers for the colt but have chosen to sit tight, at least for now.

Deputy G, with Gary Stevens to ride, is one of seven horses in the six-furlong Bashford Manor entered off a maiden victory. Another colt, Fifty Seven Flat, is a one-time winner who finished third in the Victoria Stakes at Woodbine on

June 19, while the remaining two starters, Brilliant Son and Rocket Beauty, are still maidens after one race apiece.

Brilliant Son is pegged at just 5-1 on the Churchill line after a solid June 18 debut in which he finished second with minor excuses. Mike Smith has the mount.

"He broke a little slow, and then he got steadied for a second at the top of the stretch," said trainer Chuck Simon. "Mike educated him well. Six furlongs should be better than five, and we figured if he's going to run a big race, he might as well do it in a $150,000 race than in a maiden race."

Other prime contenders in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor include , a runaway winner at Keeneland of his only start in late April; Federer, a sharp winner three weeks ago for trainer Pat Byrne and jockey Pat Day; R Loyal Man, in from Florida off a runaway win as the lone shipper in the field; and Honor Due, who on May 29 defeated a Byrne colt, Key West Breeze, who came back to win his next start.

Cockney Man Can and Fly Me Now round out the field.

The Bashford Manor is part of the pick six, which will be paid out through a mandatory

dispersal Sunday, regardless of whether any perfect tickets are sold.

Action on the Kentucky circuit shifts Wednesday to Ellis Park.