09/25/2006 12:00AM

Kentucky Cup Turf preview


Kentucky Downs - Race 4
Kentucky Cup Turf Stakes (Grade 3)
1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
3-year-olds and upward
Purse $200,000.

MAJOR RHYTHM pulled off a 35-1 upset in a Grade 3 at Arlington in his lone start at 12 furlongs, and he certainly wasn't disgraced as the favorite at Remington Park last time out. He pressed solid fractions under a confident ride, and opened up a lead in midstretch before being reeled in late. There doesn't seem to be a lot of pace in the Kentucky Cup Turf, and aggressive veteran Earlie Fires may hustle Major Rhythm to the front. If Fires can slow the pace to a crawl, or get Major Rhythm to stalk longshot CAUSEWAY, then Major Rhythm may steal this race at a nice price.
ROCK LOBSTER may also be close to the pace. The 3-year-old tries elders for the first time, and 12 furlongs will be a new experience for him as well, but he has some upside potential as a lightly-raced runner. He was a bit rank in the early stages of the Grade 3 Saranac last time out, and was checked while saving ground entering the stretch. Despite the trouble, he was able to wear down the leaders in the lane. Rock Lobster needs to rate more kindly if he is to succeed at this marathon distance.
DYNALYMPIC couldn't go with LORD CARMEN last time out at Arlington, but he enjoys 12 furlongs, and trainer Tom Amoss is clicking at a phenomenal 28% strike rate for the year.
EMBOSSED looked good winning a 'n2x' allowance at Arlington two back, then was wide every step in the Arlington Handicap. He has a little speed, but 12 furlongs may be a bit too long for him.
SILVERFOOT is definitely the horse to beat. The defending champion has been facing better in his last few races, and his Beyer Speed Figures are very competitive with those of the other top contenders. He failed to change leads during the stretch run of the Grade 1 United Nations behind top turf runners English Channel and Cacique, and still was only beaten 3 1/4 lengths. The class drop makes him very tough in here, but he won't offer any value.
ROCHESTER won this race in 2002 and 2003, and was the runner-up here the past two years. The 10-year-old thrives over this course, but seems off form, and may have to rally into a slow pace.

1. Major Rhythm
2. Rock Lobster
3. Dynalympic