09/27/2009 11:00PM

Gomez sweeps Kentucky Cup stakes

Emily Lang/Turfway Park
Furthest Land runs by Dubious Miss in deep stretch to win the Kentucky Cup Classic under Garrett Gomez.

FLORENCE, Ky. - Seeking opportunities between the bigger meets in Southern California, Garrett Gomez ventured to Turfway Park for the 16th annual Kentucky Cup. All he did was sweep the three-race series, capping the afternoon with a hard-earned victory aboard Furthest Land in the anchor race, the .

While Hold Me Back, the 4-5 favorite, labored home sixth in a field of nine, Furthest Land was running down Dubious Miss in the desperate final yards of the Classic, a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race. The winning margin was a neck, with Sligovitz finishing another 2 1/2 lengths back in third.

Furthest Land, claimed in Oct. 2008 for $35,000 by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, returned $14.40 as third choice.

"I wanted to keep him back a little, but he was really into the bit, and I think he was trying to tell me something," said Gomez, the two-time Eclipse Award-winning jockey who has ridden sparingly between the Del Mar and Oak Tree meets in California. "I got him into a nice rhythm, and it was all we could do to get by that other horse."

Furthest Land, a 4-year-old gelding by Smart Strike, finished in 1:48.41 and earned $121,780 with his seventh win from 15 starts. He had raced just once before on a synthetic track, winning a Keeneland allowance race in April.

"I really thought he might like moving back to the Poly," said winning trainer Mike Maker, the former D. Wayne Lukas assistant who in 2006 won the Turfway showcase, the Lane's End Stakes, with 43-1 shot With a City. Asked whether he and the Ramseys might give Furthest Land a try in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in November, Maker said: "We'll play that by ear. I'd love to run in something like that, but we also want to be competitive, too."

Ken Ramsey, the perennial leading owner on the Kentucky circuit, was attending the Florida-Kentucky college football game while the Classic was being run.

The defeat for Dubious Miss, the 9-2 second choice, was the first in six tries when Calvin Borel was riding him. The 5-year-old gelding, always in good position, took command from Timeless Fashion inside the eighth pole and temporarily edged clear, but a steady outside run from Furthest Land wore him down in the final 40 yards.

Julien Leparoux, aboard Hold Me Back, said his horse "felt good, but he was empty. He just didn't have anything for me today." Hold Me Back, winner of the Lane's End in March, had finished second in the Travers Stakes in his previous start. He was the lone 3-year-old in the Classic field.

El Brujo mows down Sprint rivals

El Brujo ($7.60), the slight favorite in the field of 3-year-olds, stormed down the center of the track to snatch victory from 20-1 shot in the . Last of 10 early, the winner was up in the final yards to prevail by a half-length, with Turfiste another 1 1/4 lengths back in third.

"Once I him out, I had a fresh horse," said Gomez. "He finished up the right way, gave me everything he had."

An Ontario-bred gelding by Candy Ride, El Brujo was bred by his owner, Windways Farm. Trainer Malcolm Pierce was not in for the race, opting to deputize local trainer Bill Connelly instead.

El Brujo, now a winner in 5 of 12 starts, finished six furlongs in 1:09.04 to earn $58,900 and lift his bankroll to $415,956. Pierce said by phone from Canada that the Oct. 17 Perryville Stakes at Keeneland might be next for El Brujo.

Guam Typhoon, the 3-1 second choice who was making his synthetics debut, ran last.

indescribable best in Distaff

Indescribable ($6.20), exiting a rugged series of grass races, showed her class when rallying for a 3 1/2-length victory in the . Unforgotten was along for second, another half-length before pacesetting Whirlie Bertie, who had another three-quarters of a length on Bear Now, the defending champion and 17-10 favorite.

"I didn't have to do much," said Gomez. "We broke from the outside, so I wanted to put her in a little bit of a spot. At about the three-eighths pole, I wanted her to start picking them up, and she did so willingly."

Bill Mott trains Indescribable for breeder-owner Courtlandt Farm. The 5-year-old Pleasant Tap mare now has won 7 of 22 career starts, including 5 of 10 on synthetic surfaces, and has earned $474,492. She completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.92.

The Distaff was the final career start for Bear Now, who will "head straight to the farm," said trainer Al Stall Jr.