09/16/2009 11:00PM

Happiness Is lands in right spot after all


Fresh from a hard-earned victory over the accomplished Euphony in the Lady Canterbury Stakes in Minnesota, the 5-year-old mare Happiness Is was all set to run next in the Sept. 7 Summer Finale Stakes at Mountaineer Park.

But the two-turn race was rained off the grass, leading trainer Tom Proctor to scratch - which now turns out to be just as well. Happiness Is instead goes in the $50,000 Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf, one of the supporting features Saturday, opening day of the abbreviated meet at turf-only Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.

"She is made for a one-turn mile," said Proctor, noting the unique layout for the Ladies over the spacious, undulating surface at Kentucky Downs, which measures about 1 3/8 miles in circumference. "Absolutely made for it."

Happiness Is will be ridden again by Rosemary Homeister Jr. in what shapes up as an exceptionally deep renewal of the Ladies Turf, for which 16 fillies and mares are on the program, although only as many as 12 can start. The race is the seventh of 16 on a melded program with Turfway Park.

Other contenders include Cowgirls Don't Cry, winner of the Grade 2 Shuvee Handicap at Belmont Park in 2008; Lady Carlock, a late-running mare who was third behind Happiness Is and Euphony in the July 25 Lady Canterbury; Pleasant Song, a winner in two of her last three starts; and Cure for Sale, winner of two straight over the Arlington Park turf.

Just for Keeps takes on the boys

As good as the Ladies looks, the field for the $50,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Dash (race 10) seems equally well-stocked. The full gate of 12 includes the accomplished mare Just for Keeps, along with the respective one-two finishers from the 2008 Turf Dash, Hold the Salt and Fort Prado. The latter would surpass $1.2 million in earnings by winning in his 57th career start Saturday.

Other possibilities include Veiled Prophet, scratched from the off-the-turf Guilliams Memorial on Sept. 7 at Ellis Park to await this; Guam Typhoon, a 3-year-old trying older when backing up from back-to-back dirt-route stakes at Saratoga; and Yankee Injunuity, a two-back winner of the Arlington Sprint Handicap.

* Besides the three Kentucky Cup stakes, the other Saturday races at Kentucky Downs are an entry-level allowance (race 16) and two maiden special weight events (races 3 and 5).