06/14/2009 11:00PM

Battle of Hastings tops Colonial Turf Cup


Southern California-based Battle of Hastings, who has a win and a close second in a pair of graded stakes on turf already this season, heads a field of 10 3-year-olds for Saturday's Grade 2, $600,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs.

The 1 3/16-mile Turf Cup, the first leg of the Grand Slam of Grass, headlines a card drawn Monday that includes the Grade 3, $200,000 All Along Stakes for fillies and mares.

Battle of Hastings, trained by Jeff Mullins, has run well in all three of his starts this season, winning the Grade 3 Baldwin and the listed La Puente at Santa Anita, then missing by three-quarters of a length in the Grade 3 American Turf last month at Churchill Downs.

The field includes two other graded stakes-placed horses, Lime Rickey and Take the Points.

Lime Rickey finished second in the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in mid-March. He most recently cleared his first allowance condition at Belmont Park.

Take the Points, fourth in the Santa Anita Derby and second in the Grade 3 Sham over Santa Anita's synthetic Pro-Ride surface, will be making his turf debut, as will his stablemate Al Khali, an also-ran in the Grade 2 Illinois Derby and Grade 2 Peter Pan. Both are trained by Todd Pletcher, who won the 2005 Turf Cup with English Channel.

The West Coast-based Mark S the Cooler and New York shipper Straight Story both step up in class off wins against first-level allowance company. Both are 2 for 2 on turf.

The Turf Cup, along with the Virginia Derby, Secretariat at Arlington, and the Breeders' Cup Turf, form the four legs of the Grand Slam of Grass. The combined purse and bonus money to any horse who can sweep the series exceeds $5 million.

I Lost My Choo returns to Colonial for the first time since winning last year's Virginia Oaks in the 1 1/8-mile All Along. This year, she has won the Grade 3 Honey Fox at Gulfstream and the restricted Mt. Vernon at Belmont.

Her 11 opponents include Indescribable, a three-time winner at the Grade 3 level, and Winter View, winner of the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland last time out.