11/05/2008 12:00AM

Drury takes the spotlight


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Highly decorated trainers often say they never could have gotten where they've gotten without their people behind the scenes. And while Tom Drury Jr. might one day aspire to be one of those trainers, he has been content to do his finest work in helping some of the sport's best, including Bill Mott, Shug McGaughey, and Frank Brothers.

Drury, 37, operates in obscurity at the Skylight training center just east of Louisville, where an impressive roster of trainers entrust him with horses needing the kind of offtrack care that rarely gets noticed by the racing public.

"Usually that means we're legging them up to get ready to go back to the track, or letting them down after a hard campaign," said Drury. "Whatever needs to be done."

In the meantime, Drury also runs the occasional horse in his own name, and he was particularly proud to do so at Keeneland on Oct. 5, when Timeless Fashion earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in winning an entry-level turf allowance off an eight-month layoff.

"He sure ran a bang-up race that day," said Drury, a Louisville native. "I was awful proud of him."

Late Friday afternoon, Timeless Fashion will bring the highest last-race Beyer to the Churchill Downs feature, a $50,000 second-level allowance that goes as the ninth of 10 races. With Shaun Bridgmohan riding again, Timeless Fashion, a 4-year-old Sky Classic gelding, will have to overcome post 10 in the 1 1/16-mile turf race.

If Timeless Fashion can't repeat, plenty of others are capable of victory. They include Denim, dropping back in class after being humbled in the Hawthorne Derby; Jamaludin, a recent Keeneland winner for the red-hot tandem of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, trainer Mike Maker, and jockey Julien Leparoux; Biggerbadderbetter, a close second at this same level last out; Glee Club, a dangerous stretch-runner from the Ian Wilkes barn; and El Caballo, fourth at this level at Keeneland.

One other allowance (race 6) also is scheduled for Friday. Restricted to 2-year-old fillies, the $48,000 entry-level race drew what looks to be a very competitive field, with Lion Queen, Emma Darling, and Keertana likely to draw strong action. Several of those entered have dabbled in stakes, including War Tigress, most recently sixth of 12 behind Laragh in the Jessamine County on the Keeneland turf.