09/02/2010 11:54AM

Hancock entry looks strong in Bassinet


Trainer John Hancock will be alongside the Ohio River as usual Saturday, but not at his lifelong stomping grounds of Ellis Park. Instead, Hancock will have made the 3 1/2-hour drive upstream from Henderson, Ky., to run a pair of contenders in the Bassinet Stakes at River Downs, which lies on the banks of the Ohio just east of downtown Cincinnati.

Hancock will be sending out the coupled entry of Internet Cafe and Bach Hamilton in the $50,000 Bassinet, a six-furlong race that kicks off closing weekend at River. Eight 2-year-old fillies are entered, with the Hancock entry likely to challenge the Tom Amoss-trained Fiscal Policy for favoritism.

Amanda Tamburello has the mount on Bach Hamilton, a two-length winner of the Aug. 15 Bassinet prep at River, while her fellow apprentice, Kristina Kenney, will be aboard Internet Cafe, an allowance winner at the Churchill Downs spring meet.

“I’ve worked them both and had a choice, and I took Bach,’ ” said Tamburello, a 33-year-old Michigan native who is riding in her first stakes race. “I just adore her professionalism. She’s got a little better tactical speed and just seems more aware. She’s also run over the track there at River and obviously liked it.”

Internet Cafe starts from post 4, and Bach Hamilton from post 7. Both fillies are owned by Bill Dorminy.

Fiscal Policy, a $140,000 purchase in April, earned a field-high Beyer Speed Figure of 75 in winning an Aug. 15 maiden race in the slop at Hoosier Park. Amoss did not name a jockey at time of entry but said Thursday that Rex Stokes will have the ride from post 5.

Other Bassinet fillies worth noting include Sonja’s Angel, a last-out maiden winner at Ellis; Tater Taunter, a maiden winner at Churchill in June; and Ruth and Neva, third in a Mountaineer Park stakes four weeks ago.

The Bassinet purse was cut in half earlier this year, along with that of the River showcase race, the Cradle Stakes, which went from $200,000 to $100,000. The Cradle, for 2-year-old colts and geldings, closes out the meet Monday.

The Bassinet goes as the 11th of 14 races on a 7&7 Saturday card with Thistledown. First post is 12:55 p.m. Eastern, with the Bassinet set for 4:25 p.m..