09/23/2007 11:00PM

Few willing to face elite duo

EmailIt's the kind of small problem that any racetrack would love to have, but a problem it is. Turfway Park officials were having trouble Monday scaring up a handful of horses to race against Street Sense and Hard Spun in the signature race of their fall meet, the Kentucky Cup Classic on Saturday.

Randy Wehrman, stakes coordinator at Turfway in Florence, Ky., said Monday afternoon that only Stream Cat and Cat Shaker have been confirmed as opponents for the KC Classic. Entries for the Classic and the other four races in the Kentucky Cup series will be drawn Wednesday at the track.

Wehrman said that several more prospects are possible for the 1 1/8-mile race, including Istan, Muqbil, and Smokeyjonessutton.

With such a small field, and with precious little speed to oppose Hard Spun, the Classic could unfold in a peculiar manner, with the naturally speedy Hard Spun strolling along on an uncontested lead. Hard Spun, owned by the Fox Hill Farms of Rick Porter, was scheduled to arrive late Monday from Delaware Park, along with two other horses that Larry Jones will be running Saturday at Turfway. Hard Spun breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 Sunday at Delaware in his final prerace work.

Trainer Carl Nafzger announced last weekend that Street Sense, the colt whose four victories this year include the Kentucky Derby and Travers, definitely would run in the Classic. The colt was scheduled to work Tuesday morning at Churchill Downs with jockey Calvin Borel aboard. Street Sense will ship to Turfway on race morning and return to Churchill that night.

Big fields likely for four supporting stakes

Unlike the Classic, larger fields are likely for the other four Kentucky Cup races, according to Wehrman.

The richest of those undercard races is the $175,000 Kentucky Cup Distaff, a Grade 3 race that until this year had been known as the Turfway Breeders' Cup. At least nine or 10 fillies and mares are likely for the 1 1/16-mile race, including Danzon, Delicate Dynamite, I'm in Love, and Kettleoneup.

For the Grade 3, $100,000 KC Sprint at six furlongs, the known prospects are Elite Squadron, Morada Key, Norjac, Parioli's Trick, Pauillac, Piratesonthelake, Spin Master, and Stormin Baghdad.

In the Grade 3, $100,000 KC Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles, likely runners include Blackberry Road, Spice House, T.J.'s Posse, Texas Fever, and West Coast Coach.

In the $100,000 KC Juvenile Fillies, the only ungraded race in the series, the probables include Carnival City, De Star Express, Palanka City, Sumwhrovrtherainbw, and either of the Dave Vance pair of Kadira and Minewander.

Fayette may be next for Brass Hat

Brass Hat, the impressive winner of the Massachusetts Handicap last weekend, could make his next start in the $150,000 Fayette Stakes on Oct. 27, closing day of the Keeneland fall meet.

Brass Hat rebounded from two mediocre races at Saratoga in winning the Mass Cap at Suffolk Downs by three-quarters of a length over Fairbanks.

"He's already back, doing well," trainer Buff Bradley said Monday at Churchill. "We are so lucky to have this kind of horse. I hope we can keep him around Kentucky now for a while."

The Grade 3 Fayette is run at 1 1/8 miles over Polytrack.

* Owner Tom Conway said he "wouldn't mind at all" watching General Jumbo run in the Breeders' Cup Turf after the British-bred horse raced to a workmanlike half-length victory Saturday under Jeremy Rose in the premier race of the Kentucky Downs meet, the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf. The six-day meet at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., was scheduled to end Tuesday with a seven-race card.

* Besides the Kentucky Cup, Saturday also is the biannual College Scholarship Day at Turfway. Ten college scholarships worth $1,000 apiece will be raffled off throughout the day. The event is sponsored by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and Turfway.

* Unlike at its biggest spring event, the Lane's End Stakes, which requires a $10 admission fee, Turfway does not charge admission on Kentucky Cup Day.