11/21/2008 12:00AM

Kelly's Landing, Euroears to clash


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Churchill Downs sure seems to be getting more than its money's worth Saturday by staging the $56,000 Bet on Sunshine as a secondary feature. An unbeaten horse, Euroears, and a Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, Kelly's Landing, will start alongside each other as the favorites in a field of eight in the Bet on Sunshine, a six-furlong race that directly precedes the River City Handicap.

Euroears will make his long-awaited return to action after being sidelined in late March by a non-displaced condylar fracture. Before that, the colt was sensational, reeling off six wins to start his career. His last few races, all at the Fair Grounds, were particularly flashy, ending with a 3 1/4-length score and a 110 Beyer Speed Figure in the Duncan Kenner on March 8.

"This should be a good place for him to get started," said Bret Calhoun, who trains Euroears, a 4-year-old Langfuhr colt, for Marilyn and Jim Helzer. "Obviously the other horses have a fitness advantage over us, but I think we're ready to go."

Euroears had been scheduled to return in an Oct. 30 allowance at Churchill but was scratched because of a minor illness. Since then, the colt has breezed twice.

"He's trained well," said Calhoun, who will watch via simulcast from New Orleans. "Obviously our goal with him is to get him up and running and to start pointing to some graded races."

With Miguel Mena to ride, Euroears will start from post 3.

Directly to his inside is his chief opposition, Kelly's Landing, a 7-year-old gelding who has amassed more than $1.85 million in earnings, much of it from his victory in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen in March 2007.

Bred and owned by Summerplace Farm, Kelly's Landing has won 10 of 25 starts, with one of his other notable victories coming in the 2005 Aristides at Churchill, when he set a since-eclipsed track record for six furlongs. In his last start, an Oct. 17 allowance at Keeneland, Kelly's Landing was an easy winner, and trainer Eddie Kenneally has had the Bet on Sunshine targeted ever since.

The Bet on Sunshine is named for the gelding who won 22 races, including 14 stakes, from 1995-2002 for owner David Holloway and trainer Paul McGee while racing primarily in sprints on the Kentucky circuit.

Holloway and McGee have a starter in the Bet on Sunshine - the stretch-running Success Success.