06/25/2006 11:00PM

Kelly's Landing likely for Smile


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Kelly's Landing, the runner-up to Lost in the Fog in the Grade 3 Aristides Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on June 3, could be headed for a rematch.

Trainer Eddie Kenneally said Monday that Kelly's Landing is likely to start in the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder on July 15 - a race expected to attract sprint champion Lost in the Fog. The Smile Sprint Handicap is a six-furlong race that is part of the Calder's Summit of Speed program.

"There's not too many big-money races for six-furlong horses, and that's the main reason we're going there," Kenneally said.

Kelly's Landing, who set the six-furlong track record at Churchill Downs winning the 2005 Aristides in 1:07.59, tuned up for the Smile by breezing a half-mile in 50.20 seconds Sunday over a fast track at Churchill Downs.

Also working Sunday for Kenneally was Ashland and Acorn stakes winner Bushfire, who breezed a half-mile in 47.80. Saturday's Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont Park is a possibility for her next race, Kenneally said, but he will not make a decision on her status until Wednesday, the day before entries are drawn. He is concerned the Mother Goose might come too soon after the June 10 Acorn, Bushfire's last start.

"We're playing it by ear," he said. "If we go, there would be a gap of only 21 days between races."

If Bushfire doesn't race in the Mother Goose, she would likely run next in either the July 15 Delaware Oaks or the Aug. 5 Test at Saratoga. The Delaware Oaks is a Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles. The Test is a Grade 1 at seven furlongs.

Flying Glitter set for Hollywood stakes

Kelly's Landing and Bushfire were not the only prominent horses breezing at Churchill Downs over the weekend. So, too, was Flying Glitter, who worked a half-mile Sunday in 49.20 seconds in preparation for what trainer Ronny Werner said would be a likely start in the $750,000 CashCall Mile at Hollywood Park on July 2.

On Saturday, Maggie Slew, the last foal by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, worked five furlongs in 59.80 over a sloppy Churchill strip to prepare for a start in the June 30 Iowa Oaks at Prairie Meadows.

Coming off a pair of allowance victories in sprints at Churchill Downs, she will be stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks, a $200,000 race.

"I really want to find out if she can manage two turns," trainer David Vance said.

Kenta Kun maintains ascent

Kenta Kun continued his steady rise through the allowance ranks by winning a third-level allowance in Sunday's fifth race, his second consecutive victory of the meet.

Making his debut on turf, Kenta Kun settled in fifth and rallied past Justice for Auston to score by a half-length. Julien Leparoux rode the winner, who ran five furlongs on a firm course in 56.93 seconds, paying $19.80.

In winning the $62,000 race, Kenta Kun earned $38,830 to increase his lifetime earnings to $158,900.

Approximately $140,000 of that bankroll has come for his current owners - John Eaton, Steve Laymon, and Mark Sayeg - who claimed Kenta Kun for $30,000 at Turfway in September 2004. The horse had won only a $15,000 maiden-claiming race before being claimed.

"I've really got to give the owners the credit," said trainer Greg Foley. "They ran the numbers on him and liked him."

Kenta Kun's race Sunday was one of his best. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96, just off from his career-best Beyer of 97, which he earned running second to multiple graded winner Saratoga County at Churchill Downs in November 2004.

Sunday's victory gives Foley numerous options to pursue with Kenta Kun, who has now won on turf and dirt and at distances ranging from five to seven furlongs.

Cool Conductor out of action

Cool Conductor, winner of the 2005 Dixie Handicap at Arlington Park, has been sidelined with a bone chip in a hind leg.

Trainer Ralph Nicks said a chip was discovered in a hind sesamoid following a third-place finish by Cool Conductor in a June 10 allowance race at Churchill Downs. The chip was surgically removed a week later, he said, and the horse is back in his barn at Churchill Downs.

Cool Conductor will be evaluated in the middle of next month, and if "there's no soft tissue damage, he goes right back to training," Nicks said.

Bejarano, Leparoux neck and neck

With 15 days of racing remaining in the 57-day Churchill Downs meet, jockeys Rafael Bejarano and Leparoux remained locked in a battle for leading rider. Bejarano has ridden 63 winners on the meet, one more than Leparoux. The two tied for the Keeneland spring meet title.

Calvin Borel, after a week in which he won eight races at Churchill, is a clear third with 40 victories.

In the trainer standings, Dale Romans is running away with the title with 33 winners from 161 starters. He is within reach of his best spring-meet total of 39 victories, accomplished during a 52-day meet in 2003. That number is a record for a spring meet of 57 days or fewer.

Trainer Bill Mott won 54 races in 1984 and 52 in 1983, but the track ran 93 days in each of those years in an experiment with summer racing.

Firecracker shaping up

Miesque's Approval, upset winner over Artie Schiller in the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile at Keeneland on April 14, is expected to head the field for Saturday's $250,000 Firecracker Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs.

According to track officials, others being pointed toward the Firecracker, a Grade 2 race at a mile on turf, include Free Thinking, Gigawatt, On the Border, and Dynareign. Remarkable News, Quest Star, Place Cowboy, and Ole Faunty are considered possible starters.

* Beginning Wednesday, Churchill will conduct racing on seven consecutive days. Along with its regular Wednesday-through-Sunday schedule, the track will race on Monday, July 3, and Tuesday, July 4. There will be no racing July 5-6, but racing will resume for a three-day weekend July 7-9.