09/03/2011 12:30PM

Ellis Park: Formulaforsuccess tries to transfer Saratoga form to Cliff Guilliams


In the coming weeks and months, Saratoga races will be showing up on the past performances of horses returning to run in Kentucky. An early chance for horseplayers to see how those horses might run will arise Monday at Ellis Park, where the 31-day meet comes to a close with the fourth running of the $50,000 Cliff Guilliams Memorial, a 1 1/16-mile turf race.

Formulaforsuccess raced twice at Saratoga, both times on turf, finishing third in a $60,000 claiming race and sixth in a second-level optional claimer. In three races in Kentucky during the spring, Formulaforsuccess’s best result was a sixth in a third-level optional claimer on the Churchill turf.

Trainer John Paul Pucek recently consolidated his stable back from Saratoga and Arlington Park to the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington, Ky., and he hand-picked the Guilliams Memorial as the best spot for the 4-year-old colt.

“He’s a big horse, and it’s been hard to get him fit and into the right kind of spot,” said Pucek. “He had some legitimate excuses in his races here this spring, and I thought he ran a couple of nice races up at Saratoga. At times he has trained as good as any horse can train. He’s sound and doing well, and we’ll ship to Ellis with some high hopes.”

Mark Guidry has the call on Formulaforsuccess, one of 10 older horses in the Guilliams, which anchors the closing-day card as the eighth of nine races. First post is 12:50 p.m. Central.

Sporty, with Calvin Borel to ride, looks like the horse to beat, having come to form with back-to-back victories for trainer Carl Nafzger.

One sleeper in the field is Timeless Fashion, an earner of nearly $400,000. Trainer Tom Drury noted the 7-year-old gelding “surely needed” his last race at Mountaineer Racetrack last month. He finished fourth in the West Virginia Speaker’s Cup in his first start since February.

The Guilliams is named for the Kentucky-based chart-caller and turf columnist who died unexpectedly in April 2008 at age 52.

Also on tap, after a few years’ hiatus, is the $28,000 Twice Around (race 7), a 2 1/4-mile race being run as an overnight handicap over the 1 1/8-mile main track.

◗ After Friday action, and going into the final three-day stretch of the meet, Calvin Borel had a 28-24 lead over apprentice Roberto Morales atop the jockey standings, while Buff Bradley was clinging to a 10-9 lead over Tim Glyshaw in the race for leading trainer.

◗ Live action on the Kentucky circuit moves Thursday to Turfway Park for a 16-day meet and on Saturday to Kentucky Downs for a four-day meet.