09/18/2007 11:00PM

General Jumbo has big shot

EmailThe $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf will be renewed Saturday at Kentucky Downs, and General Jumbo looks like the probable favorite in a small field - one that appears unlikely to have any impact on the prospective field for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

The Grade 3 KC Turf has produced the occasional long-priced starter for the BC Turf, but entries were tough to come by Wednesday, and one of the lesser lights in trainer Graham Motion's talented assemblage of turf specialists, General Jumbo, appears likely to be favored when the 1 1/2-mile race is run Saturday at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.

General Jumbo, with Jeremy Rose to ride, is one of eight older horses entered in the KC Turf, for which 25 horses were nominated, including such notables as Revved Up, Drum Major, and Silver Whistle. None of the three was entered.

General Jumbo, owned by attorney Thomas Conway of Louisville, Ky., finished second behind Revved Up in his last race, the restricted John's Call Stakes, on Aug. 19 at Saratoga. Off that effort, the 5-year-old British-bred horse should take top billing in a cast that also includes Lord Carmen, shipping in from Chicago for trainer Frank Kirby, and Golden Strategy, due in from Florida for Marty Wolfson.

The balance of the field for the KC Turf is Starspangled Gator, Dan McGrew, Demeteor, Yate's Black Cat, and Fri Guy.

The KC Turf winner has proceeded to the BC Turf four times without success: Down the Aisle (2000), Chorwon (2001), and Silverfoot (2005-06).

The Turf is one of three Kentucky Cup events set for Saturday at Kentucky Downs. The other races, each worth $100,000, are the KC Ladies Turf and the KC Turf Dash.

The one-mile Ladies Turf, with 11 fillies and mares, got the biggest field, with the Todd Pletcher-trained Quiet Royal the likely favorite.

In the six-furlong Turf Dash, Cougar Cat and Ecclesiastic figure to vie for favoritism in a field that also includes defending champion Atticus Kristy. Eight are entered.

Among the jockeys scheduled to be at Kentucky Downs on Saturday are Calvin Borel, Julien Leparoux, and Jose Valdivia Jr.

One other stakes, the $50,000 Franklin (formerly the Yaqthan) for older horses at a mile, is carded for Saturday. In all, six races will be run Saturday at Kentucky Downs, and they will be blended with 10 more from Turfway Park for a 16-race card. The Turfway feature will be the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes for fillies and mares.

This will be the 11th annual Kentucky Cup turf series. The Polytrack version of the Kentucky Cup will be run Sept. 29 at Turfway in Florence, Ky. Five Kentucky Cup races worth a total of $825,000 will be run that day.