06/23/2010 12:00AM

Here Comes Ben in career form


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - In just 10 career races, Here Comes Ben already has shown he can win over synthetic or dirt, going short or long. Now trainer Charlie Lopresti is hoping the 4-year-old colt can prove he not only can win in the light of day, but after the sun goes down, too.

Here Comes Ben will be the favorite Friday night at Churchill Downs in the 10th-race feature, the $66,500 Kelly's Landing.

"I would've liked to have schooled him there under the lights last week, but they don't permit that because of security reasons," said Lopresti, who trains Here Comes Ben at Keeneland for the colt's breeders, Marianne and Brandon Chase. "But he's a pretty sensible horse. As hot as it's been, it's probably better we're running him at night anyway."

Here Comes Ben was effective last year at 3, earning nearly $100,000 while finishing no worse than third in 6 of 8 starts, but he has really come to hand this year. He raced to a six-length triumph in his April 11 seasonal debut, a second-level allowance over the Keeneland Polytrack, then won a May 21 allowance at Churchill when taking a step up in conditions, romping by 5 1/4 lengths to earn a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

"He trains and runs well on the Poly, but I think he's even better on the dirt," Lopresti said.

Here Comes Ben will be ridden by Alex Solis when he breaks from the outside post in a field of eight 3-year-olds and up in the Kelly's Landing, a seven-furlong race that has a scheduled post time of 10:52 p.m. Eastern. First post for the third of four straight Friday night programs is 6 p.m., with "Dress to Impress" the prevailing theme this week.

Hamazing Destiny, a sharp last-out winner for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, looms one of the top challengers in the Kelly's Landing.

"He's pretty good when he brings his 'A' game," Lukas said.

The Kelly's Landing is named for the gelding who broke the six-furlong track record here in June 2005 and posted a benchmark victory nearly two years later when he captured the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Some 25,000 ontrack fans once again are expected to turn out in sweltering weather for an 11-race Friday card.