07/15/2009 11:00PM

Eldaafer, Nite Light to battle again

Email

Eldaafer and Nite Light, separated by a nose six weeks ago in the 1 1/2-mile Brooklyn Handicap, will meet again at the same distance in Saturday's $250,000 Greenwood Cup at Philadelphia Park.

Part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series, the Greenwood Cup is designated a Win and You're In race, guaranteeing the winner a berth in the BC Marathon at Santa Anita on Nov. 7.

Eldaafer got up in the last stride of the Grade 2 Brooklyn, but there's a 10-pound shift in the weights for the Greenwood Cup in favor of Nite Light. The 4-year-old Eldaafer, based at Delaware Park with trainer Diane Alvarado, must concede eight pounds to all five of his opponents as the 122-pound highweight. He will be ridden by Clinton Potts for the first time.

Nite Light, part of an uncoupled entry for trainer Todd Pletcher, fought off several challenges as part of a contested pace duel throughout the Brooklyn. John Velazquez will come in from New York to retain the mount on the 5-year-old Nite Light, who has been no worse than second in 10 of his 12 career starts.

The Brazilian-bred Alcomo, a distant fifth in the Brooklyn, could be the most serious threat to the two probable favorites. A Group 2 winner going 1 3/16 miles in Brazil last year, Alcomo just missed in a 1 1/2-mile overnight stakes two starts ago over a sloppy track at Belmont.

The undercard features a pair of $75,000 stakes restricted to Pennsylvania-bred 3-year-olds going seven furlongs.

St John's Gospel looks like the standout among seven colts and geldings in the Peppy Addy (race 6).

A three-time stakes winner, including the $100,000 Power by Far at Penn National and the Private Terms against open company at Laurel Park this season, St John's Gospel returns to dirt after a one-race experiment on the synthetic Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.

Only two of his opponents have more than a maiden victory to their credit. One of the two-time winners is Gus Who, whose Beyer Speed Figure of 88 for his win in a starter allowance last time out matches St John's Gospel's career best.

Trainer Butch Reid saddles a powerful entry in the Caught in the Rain. He's entered three fillies for Saturday: Glorious Smile, Puddy De Luca, and Red Rhapsody. Glorious Smile is the most accomplished of the trio, winning two stakes last year as a 2-year-old, the Blue Mountain Juvenile at Penn National and the Eavesdrop here at Philly.

In the Caught in the Rain for 3-year-old fillies (race 8), Holly's Way and Project Rose, both coming off back-to-back victories on Tapeta, attempt to transfer their good form to dirt.

Holly's Way most recently won the $100,000 Mal Rose at Presque Isle Downs. Project Rose, from the high-percentage stable of Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, is 2 for 2 in her career and will be facing statebreds for the first time.

Trainer Butch Reid has a three-horse coupled entry, led by Glorious Smile, a two-time stakes winner as a 2-year-old last season.