09/22/2006 11:00PM

Delayed turf stakes spice up card

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Reed Palmer Photography
Silverfoot returns as defending champion in the Kentucky Cup Turf rescheduled for Monday at Kentucky Downs.

The Kentucky Cup turf series, postponed after a major storm front blew into the Franklin, Ky., area early Saturday, has been re-scheduled for Monday at Kentucky Downs.

Excessive rainfall and tornado warnings gave Kentucky Downs officials no choice but to postpone the track's richest program of the year, a development that has turned an otherwise mundane Monday card into a 13-race blockbuster that leads off with four straight stakes, including the three Kentucky Cup turf races.

"It's very unfortunate that we had to move the Kentucky Cup races," said Kentucky Downs general manager Ryan Driscoll. "The track was in beautiful shape Friday night, and the radar showed the storms moving away from us. Then the storm shifted and hit us hard at about 2 in the morning," after which a decision to cancel for Saturday was made well before dawn.

Driscoll said that running the Kentucky Cup races later on the Monday card most likely would have benefited the track "from a business perspective," but because of the toll the rain has taken in softening the turf-only course, the races will be run "over fresh ground" when carded early on a program that begins at noon Central.

There was no redrawing of the four races originally scheduled for Saturday. The richest of those races, the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (race 4), essentially remains a race for defending champion Silverfoot to lose. A 6-year-old gray gelding trained by Dallas Stewart, Silverfoot will be trying to return to the form that took him to a 6 3/4-length triumph in this same race last year. Stewart said Silverfoot has been training particularly well in recent weeks since returning to Churchill Downs from a summer stint at Saratoga.

Rochester and Dynalympic appear to be the chief threats to a Silverfoot repeat in the 1 1/2-mile KC Turf.

In the other Monday rescheduled stakes, Dynamist will have gotten an extra couple of days' rest when she wheels back in the $100,000 KC Ladies Turf (race 3) off a sharp score in the Sept. 16 Pleasant Temper Stakes; Atticus Kristy remains strictly the horse to beat among a full field in the $100,000 KC Turf Dash (race 2); and Solo Cat and Chief Export figure as the top contenders in the day's opener, the $50,000 Yaqthan Stakes.

After the Monday card, Kentucky Downs will wrap up its abbreviated fall meet with an eight-race Tuesday program.