Updated on 09/16/2011 9:22AM

BC Countdown - Juvenile: Lone Star Sky has Sky Mesa to tackle


In the week leading up to the Kentucky Derby, trainer Tom Amoss was a guest analyst on TVG's daily show, "The Works."

In the week leading up to this month's Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Amoss hopes to be simply a guest.

Amoss should find out on Saturday what role he may play when he sends out Lone Star Sky in the $400,000 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. The Grade 2 Breeders' Futurity is one of three major prep races on Saturday that will help determine the field for this year's $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The others are the Grade 1, $500,000 Champagne at Belmont and the Grade 2, $200,000 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita. Sunday, Woodbine will host the $250,000 Grey Breeders' Cup.

Lone Star Sky, a son of Conquistador Cielo, is 3 for 4, including a victory in the Grade 2 Bashford Manor at Churchill, in which he set a stakes record for six furlongs. Lone Star Sky is coming off a 2 3/4-length victory in the Cradle Stakes at River Downs, a victory Amoss described as workmanlike.

Jockey Mark Guidry "got off him and said he was loafing," Amoss said. "And the amount of times I watched horses go two turns for the first, it's almost a confusing experience for them. I think it was a good lesson for him.'

In the Futurity, Lone Star Sky will take on Sky Mesa, regarded as the division leader following his victory in the Grade 1 Hopeful. Truckle Feature, who displaced his palate while finishing third in the Belmont Futurity, Private Gold, and Tito's Beau are also expected for the Futurity.

Zavata, who finished a bad third at 3-10 in the Hopeful, will try to bounce back in the Champagne. Although Zavata was shuffled back early in the Hopeful, he had recovered by the half-mile pole and had ample opportunity to win, but offered no punch in the lane. Saturday, he will try to stretch out to 1 1/16 miles, which may be stretching his distance capabilities.

His sternest tests figure to come from Pretty Wild, second in both the Hopeful and Futurity, and Icecoldbeeratreds, the front-running victor of the Del Mar Futurity. Others expected include Maryland shippers Cape Good Hope and Toccet, Desert Warrior, Outer Reef, Erinsouthernman, and Risky Cat.

While trainer Bob Baffert will train Vindication up to the Juvenile, he hopes to find out more about the distance capabilities of Bull Market and Kafwain in Sunday's Norfolk. Bull Market got away slowly and tired to sixth after being rushed up in the Del Mar Futurity. Kafwain closed well to be second in that same race.

An intriguing horse in the Norfolk is Listen Indy, a son of A.P. Indy, who won his maiden going a mile after finishing second behind Vindication and Truckle Feature in sprints.

Sunday's Grey Stakes will be the North American debut of Grand, an Irish-bred colt who was purchased by Team Valor following a 23-length win in a race at Wolverhampton. He will face locals Gigawatt, a 17 1/4-length maiden winner second time out, and Wando, who won the Vandal Stakes.

Most Feared came out of his Arlington-Washington Futurity victory "super," according to trainer Ronny Werner, and will be pointed to the Juvenile.