09/21/2009 11:00PM

Kentucky Cup looking nearly full

Barbara D. Livingston
Hold Me Back on Saturday will try to become only the second horse to sweep the Lane's End Stakes and the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park in the same year.

Sizable fields are expected for the three Kentucky Cup races to be run Saturday on the Polytrack surface at Turfway Park in Florence, Ky., with Hold Me Back heading a prospective field of at least 10 for the anchor race, the Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Cup Classic.

Julien Leparoux, one of a handful of top-echelon jockeys scheduled to ride in the series, has the return call on Hold Me Back, the 3-year-old Giant's Causeway colt who most recently was second in the Aug. 29 Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

Hold Me Back was scheduled to arrive early Wednesday in Louisville on a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, according to Kenny McCarthy, the Kentucky-based assistant to trainer Bill Mott. From there, the colt was to be vanned directly to Turfway, with Keith Allen overseeing his care into race day.

In March, Hold Me Back won Turfway's signature race, the Lane's End Stakes, and thus will be attempting to become just the second horse to sweep the track's two biggest races in the same year. Hard Spun won both in 2007.

Besides Hold Me Back, others expected for the 1 1/8-mile Classic are Dubious Miss, Furthest Land, Godolphin Gray, Jazz in the Park, Let It Rock, Sligovitz, Timeless Fashion, Wicked Style, and Your Round. Entries were to be drawn Wednesday.

Garrett Gomez will be in to ride Furthest Land, while Robby Albarado has the call on Wicked Style, and Calvin Borel will be reunited with Dubious Miss, aboard whom he has never lost in five races.

Furthest Land, a sharp winner of an April allowance at Keeneland in his lone race on a synthetic surface, comes off a fourth-place finish as the odds-on favorite in the July 25 Claiming Crown Jewel at Canterbury Park.

"I'm looking for him to duplicate his Polytrack effort from the spring," said trainer Mike Maker. "If he does, I think we'll be very competitive in there."

As for the other Kentucky Cup races, both Grade 3 events worth $100,000, at least nine horses are expected for both the Distaff and Sprint. Bear Now, a four-length winner of the 1 1/16-mile Distaff in 2008, will be back again this year, while Big Push, Guam Typhoon, and Hollywood Hit are the most accomplished 3-year-olds being pointed to the six-furlong Sprint.

The long-range forecast for Saturday calls for thundershowers and a high temperature of 75. TVG has exclusive television coverage. Admission and parking are free, with reserved seats ranging from $5 to $100.

The Kentucky Cup, first run in 1994, was cut from five to three races this year, with the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies being eliminated because of financial constraints. The turf version of the Kentucky Cup was held last weekend at Kentucky Downs.