09/20/2006 11:00PM

Dynamist right back in Ladies Turf


During his 13 years as an assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, Ralph Nicks saw a virtually limitless variety of situations and circumstances. And now that Nicks has been on his own for nearly three years, he is able to draw on those experiences when making the calls for his own stable.

The subject is relevant because of what Nicks has chosen to do Saturday in the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf at Kentucky Downs. Dynamist, a 4-year-old filly who only last Saturday won the Pleasant Temper Stakes for Nicks and owner-breeder Dr. John Chandler at the turf-only track in Franklin, Ky., is scheduled to run right back in the $100,000 Ladies, which drew a full cast of 12.

"A few years ago I remember running a horse named In Frank's Honor for Bill," recalled Nicks. "He got beat at Keeneland at 3-5, and we ran him back six days later and he paid $28. Normally we'd run them back quick when they wouldn't pick up the bridle to try and wake them up a little bit.

"In this case it's different because this filly won so easy last weekend, but she came out of the race great, bucking and playing and really feeling good mentally about herself. Dr. Chandler thought that for the $100,000, it'd be worth taking a shot."

Dynamist, with Brice Blanc to ride, figures to work out a decent stalking trip for herself when she breaks from post 2 in the one-mile Ladies. Among her main challengers are the Mott-trained duo of Almost Innocent and Thetactics Ofdance, along with Victory Lap, upset winner of the Ellis Park Breeders' Cup Turf last month, and Honey Rose, a Todd Pletcher-trained filly making her first North American start after most recently winning a Grade 1 race in her native Argentina.

"Obviously we don't know a whole lot about her," said Mike McCarthy, Pletcher's Churchill Downs-based assistant. "But I can say she's trained real well here."

The Ladies is carded as the 11th of 16 races on the Kentucky Downs-Turfway simulcast marathon.

Turf Dash: Atticus Kristy looks for win

Some 45 minutes earlier, Atticus Kristy will be favored in another full field in the first of the three Kentucky Cup turf races, the $100,000 Turf Dash (race 9).

Atticus Kristy, trained by Merrill Scherer, has not won since capturing the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland in April, but the 5-year-old gelding has been very competitive in each of his four subsequent races. Last year in the Turf Dash, he led to the bitter final yards before being beaten a head by Durban Thunder.

Besides Atticus Kristy, the six-furlong Turf Dash drew such capable sprinters as Justice for Auston, a Dale Romans-trained 7-year-old who has been first or second in 24 of 47 starts; Actual, a late-running up-and-comer trained by Steve Penrod; Summer Service, a recent claim at the Saratoga meet by owner Billy Hays; Dixie Tree, a speedy Louisiana shipper; and Mocha Queen, the lone female in the field.

Yaqthan: Solo Cat in off victory

Although not included in the Kentucky Cup turf series, the $50,000 Yaqthan Stakes also is part of the Saturday card at Kentucky Downs. Solo Cat, winner of the Memorial Day Handicap at Mountaineer Park, will have Blanc aboard when he starts as one of the favorites in a field of nine.

Chief Export, who enjoyed an extraordinary Churchill spring meet and fell a nose shy of winning all four of his starts, is among the other logical contenders in the one-mile Yaqthan (race 7).

Turfway: Hot Storm perfect on Poly

Meanwhile, at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., Hot Storm will try to keep her record perfect on Polytrack when she faces 10 fillies and mares in the Saturday feature, the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes (race 13).

Hot Storm, an earner of $726,907 for owner Bob Adams of Cincinnati, has won all three of her starts at Turfway since Polytrack was installed last September. She will have easily her toughest test Saturday, facing several formful fillies including Very Vegas, Morner, and Malibu Mint.

Very Vegas, trained by Nick Canani, switches from turf to Polytrack, over which she won the Queen Stakes in March.

"She had a great work Sunday, and I don't think she could be training any better," said Canani.