05/09/2008 12:00AM

Kelly's Landing makes it a race for place


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Most moms in attendance Sunday at Churchill Downs would like nothing better than to cash a ticket for their Mother's Day gift. Whispering sweetly in her ear, "Mom, let me go crush the 2-5 exacta in the seventh for you" might not make you a handicapping genius, but hey, it could give her a far bigger thrill than untying the ribbon from a potted plant.

The 2 is Kelly's Landing, the 5 is Indian Chant, and their credentials make them standouts in the Sunday feature, a $60,000 allowance at six furlongs. Kelly's Landing, when on his game, is one of the world's elite sprinters, as he proved by winning the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen in March 2007. But with just one race since then, clearly something has been amiss with Kelly's Landing, although trainer Eddie Kenneally is cautiously optimistic the 7-year-old gelding will return in style.

"After we came back from Dubai, we gave him the normal time to recuperate from the journey," said Kenneally. "Then he had a little throat problem, so we did surgery, and then we ran him in the Breeders' Cup Sprint."

Kelly's Landing ran fifth in the slop at Monmouth Park in the Oct. 27 BC Sprint, which remains his only race since Dubai.

"We had him ready to run a couple times this winter in Florida, but he got sick on us," said Kenneally. "But now we have him where we want him. He likes the track at Churchill, and he's ready to run."

Besides his Golden Shaheen triumph, Kelly's Landing also holds the distinction of once being the track-record holder for six furlongs at Churchill, having won the 2005 Aristides Handicap in 1:07.59. Overall, the gelding has won 9 of 22 starts and earned more than $1.8 million for his breeders and owners, the Summerplace Farm of Jack and Louise Lally.

If indeed Kelly's Landing brings his top effort to his comeback, the horse most likely to finish second is Indian Chant, a 5-year-old gelding who, coincidentally, shaved .04 of a second off the Churchill record previously owned by Kelly's Landing when he won a six-furlong allowance last July in 1:07.55. Tom Amoss trains Indian Chant for Maggi Moss.

The rest of the field for the Sunday feature is Going Wild, Probation Ready, Success Success, and Last Gran Standing.

Eleven races are carded for Sunday, when first post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern. Churchill goes dark for two days before action resumes Wednesday.