Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

Kamsack takes a shot at big time


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Chris Paasch has been in the racing business for 26 years, the last 20 as a licensed trainer. A New York native based in Southern California, Paasch, 45, has seen many talented racehorses, and he thinks he happens to have one in his own barn now.

"This might be a mild statement," said Paasch. "But this is the nicest horse I've ever touched in my life."

On Saturday at Keeneland, that colt, Kamsack, gets a chance to show if he belongs among the world's best Thoroughbreds. Kamsack will start in the $400,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, a Grade 2 race that figures to produce a candidate or two for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Oct. 27 at Belmont Park.

While there is no standout in the field of 11, but there are a handful of 2-year-olds eligible to step up in a big way.

Kamsack is among them. When Paasch unveiled him on July 28 at Del Mar, he flew past the highly regarded Future Minister to win by

2 1/2 lengths. In his only subsequent start, Kamsack ran second in the Del Mar Futurity, beaten only 1 1/2 lengths by Officer, the current Juvenile favorite.

Another starter with a legitimate chance to move on to New York is Siphonic, trained by David Hofmans. Like Kamsack, he was impressive in winning first out at Del Mar.

The other top challengers in an extremely competitive field are Juggernaut, winner of the Criterium and Foolish Pleasure at Calder; Metatron, a California shipper who spent the summer chasing Officer and Came Home; Harlan's Holiday, an Ohio-bred who most recently won the Cradle Stakes at River Downs; and Request for Parole, the Cradle runner-up who won the Ellis Park Juvenile in his previous start.

Request for Parole, perennially underrated on the toteboard, could be the best price play. "He always gives me everything," said trainer Steve Margolis.

The rest of the field is Sunkosi, Fine and Dandy, Crimson Hero, Gold Dollar and Burnt Ember.

Also on Saturday's card is the Grade 2 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes, in which Bet On Sunshine heads a field of five.

CNBC will air the Breeders' Futurity as part of a one-hour telecast beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern.

Subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.

Non-subscribers, to purchase Past Performances.