09/15/2012 12:05PM

Kentucky Downs: Well-rested Cyber Secret begins a fall campaign

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FRANKLIN, Ky. – After running fifth in both the Southwest and Rebel Stakes last winter at Oaklawn Park, Cyber Secret got time off to regroup and reload.

“He was showing me a little bit of wear, so I stopped on him down there after the Rebel,” trainer Lynn Whiting said. “We weren’t going to make the [Kentucky] Derby, and we wanted to have the right horse in the fall. He’s a fresh horse with some talent, and that’s a position you want to be in.”

Cyber Secret will have his first race in exactly six months when making his grass debut as part of a competitive field of nine 3-year-olds and up in the Monday feature at Kentucky Downs, a $64,000, second-level allowance at six furlongs.

Purchased privately by Oaklawn owner Charles Cella after having two races at 2, Cyber Secret will be turning back in distance Monday following the layoff when ridden by Ramon Vazquez from post 4.

“He’s done everything like I wanted to see him do,” said Whiting, the 1992 Derby-winning trainer of Lil E. Tee. “He had a black-letter work [Thursday at Churchill Downs] and did it the right way. I didn’t want to run him long off the bench, and he’s shown he can sprint anyway. He won’t be out of the race. He’ll be forward. I don’t want him fighting for the lead, but he won’t be far back.”

A comeback victory for Cyber Secret would help ease some of the personal pain Whiting has endured in recent days. Whiting was a pall bearer Saturday in Louisville at the funeral of his close friend, Steve Morguelan, a retired trainer who died unexpectedly Tuesday at age 62.

If Cyber Secret is to be denied in the seventh of eight Monday races, the most logical candidates to beat him are Mr. Jeeves, a romping winner of his latest at Ellis Park; Heir Joe, a consistent 5-year-old specializing in turf sprints; and Mop Head, a Chicago shipper returning from a 4 1/2-month layoff for trainer Mike Stidham.

One earlier allowance, a $62,000, first-level sprint (race 4), also is carded for Monday. A well-matched field of eight should have the outside draws as favorites: Make a Fortune, Next Right Thing, and Chalice.

Half of the purses for the allowance races are restricted to horses nominated to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

After Monday, the finale of the six-day Kentucky Downs meet will be run here Wednesday. First post both days is 1:35 p.m. Central.