09/11/2013 2:51PM

Kentucky Downs: Blocks back to take another shot at Turf Cup

Four Footed Fotos
Suntracer should not have any trouble with the distance of Saturday's Kentucky Turf Cup.

The incredible success for the stallion Kitten’s Joy on Aug. 17 would have been even greater if only his 5-year-old son Suntracer had run a little faster in the $400,000 American St. Leger on the Arlington Million undercard.

“Another half-length or so and we could’ve been in on the party, too,” said Chris Block, noting how Suntracer finished second by that margin to Dandino in the St. Leger.

Four weeks later, Suntracer will take another crack at a $400,000 turf marathon when he ships from Chicago to rural south-central Kentucky as one of the main contenders Saturday in the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup. The 1 1/2-mile race anchors the new Kentucky Downs Million Day, a series of five straight stakes that also comprises four other $150,000 races.

Unlike much of the progeny of Kitten’s Joy who were bred and are owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Suntracer was bred and is owned by the Block family under their Team Block banner. Last year, David Block, Chris’s father, was at Kentucky Downs to see Ioya Bigtime win the Kentucky Turf Cup under the family’s green-and-gold silks. The travel arrangements are the same this year, with Chris staying behind to run horses at Arlington.

“It looks like the horse is really coming into his own,” said Block. “I think he’s ready to take another step forward. He seems to like the distance, so the only thing is if he can handle the configuration of that track, which I think he will. Most horses, when they run that far, they have plenty of chance to adjust.”

On Aug. 17, Kitten’s Joy was the winning sire of Real Solution (Arlington Million), Admiral Kitten (Secretariat), and Big Blue Kitten (Sword Dancer).