06/22/2011 3:25PM

Churchill Downs: Dublin to scratch out of Kelly's Landing; Here Comes Ben eyes repeat

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Tom Keyser
Here Comes Ben will be seeking a repeat in Friday's Kelly's Landing Stakes at Churchill Downs.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The long-awaited return of 2009 Grade 1 Hopeful winner Dublin, unraced since finishing fifth in last year’s Preakness, has been delayed a little longer.

Entered in Friday night’s $76,600 Kelly’s Landing overnight stakes at Churchill Downs, Dublin will be scratched and pointed to another race yet to be determined, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said.

Lukas said he preferred not to run Dublin under the night racing environment at Churchill Downs, which typically has a large, raucous crowd just outside the paddock area.

Even minus Dublin, the Kelly’s Landing is expected to have a Grade 1 winner in the race – that being 2010 Forego winner Here Comes Ben – as well as Captain Cherokee, a colt that was second in three consecutive graded stakes at Santa Anita this winter before running eighth in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on Derby Day.

Here Come Ben also competed in that race, finishing seventh, beaten four lengths, in what was his seasonal bow – a race he followed up with distant sixth in the six-furlong Aristides on June 4.

Despite rear-half finishes in those two races as well as in the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 6 in his final race of last year, his trainer, Charlie Lopresti, hasn’t lost faith in Here Comes Ben.

He said the Aristides was only race that disappointed him, noting that Here Comes Ben was returning from a layoff in the Churchill Downs on Derby Day and had a much-troubled trip when 11th in the Breeders’ Cup Mile last fall.

“He got wiped out at the start of that race, and his pastern got cut,” he said of the Breeders’ Cup.

A chip also was taken out of his knee after the Breeders’ Cup, he said

The conditions of the Kelly’s Landing favor Here Comes Ben. He is back racing seven furlongs, the distance at which he won the Forego, and he won last year’s Kelly’s Landing under the lights.

He also is drawn where he prefers to run – on the far outside. He started from the fence in the Aristides.

Jon Court, 2 for 3 riding for Lopresti this meet, rides Here Comes Ben for owners Brandon and Marianne Chase.

Julien Leparoux, aboard Here Comes Ben in his two races in 2011, lands on Captain Cherokee for trainer Steve Asmussen.

In addition to Dublin, Double Threat will be scratched from the Kelly’s Landing, trainer Ron Moquett said. He ran Wednesday in the Joseph French Memorial at Delaware Park.

Another cross-entered runner, Cool Bullet, is staying in the Kelly’s Landing after being scratched from Wednesday’s Karl Boyes Stakes at Presque Isle, trainer Steve Margolis said.

◗ A field of eight 2-year-old fillies was entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Debutante Stakes at six furlongs – the first juvenile stakes race contested at Churchill this spring.

Out-of-town shippers Shocktime and Defy Gravity, a pair of big Beyer Speed Figure horses, should vie for favoritism with Culotte, a smashing first-out winner at Churchill on May 13.