09/10/2013 3:15PM

Kentucky Downs: Whatthecatdrugin will come back on short rest for Kentucky Turf Cup

Coady Photography
Whatthecatdrugin (right), narrowly beaten by Russell Road in the off-the-turf Independence Day at Mountaineer, will be making his second start in six days in the Kentucky Turf Cup at 1 1/2 miles.

The trip Whatthecatdrugin endured Sunday in the Presque Isle Mile was so ridiculous that Tevis McCauley is giving his stable star a chance right back.

Whatthecatdrugin was one of nine older horses entered Tuesday for the showcase race at Kentucky Downs: the Grade 3, $400,000 Kentucky Turf Cup, which will be run Saturday at the south-central Kentucky track for the 17th time.

Whatthecatdrugin, a habitual front-runner, broke awkwardly at the start of the Presque Isle Mile and then had a real adventure trying to find the front. He never did, and McCauley said Tuesday that he wants to “give the horse a chance to show what he can do. He came out of the race eating good and feeling good and with a real high energy level. As long as he stays that way, we’re coming down there to Kentucky Downs.”

At the very least, Whatthecatdrugin and jockey Jon Court figure to show the way for quite a while after breaking from post 2 in the 1 1/2-mile Turf Cup. Their pursuers comprise a solid if not spectacular group, including several shipping in from Chicago: Suntracer (post 9, Eddie Castro) and Najjaar (post 4, Jimmy Graham), the 2-3 finishers last month in the American St. Leger, as well as Temeraine (post 8, Gary Stevens), fifth in the Arlington Million.

From the rail, this is the entire field for the Kentucky Turf Cup: Olympic Thunder, Whatthecatdrugin, Amen Kitten, Najjaar, Royal Bench, Potomac River, Side Road, Temeraine, and Suntracer.

The Turf Cup, the ninth of 10 Saturday races, anchors “Kentucky Downs Million Day,” a program that also includes four other ungraded stakes, all worth $150,000.

The first race goes at 1:35 p.m. Central, and the Turf Cup at 5:35. As for those undercard stakes:

◗ Franklin-Simpson Mile (race 8): A host of tried-and-true older horses should make this a terrific wagering event, with Coalport, The Pizza Man, Lonesome Street, Depeche Chat, Utley, and Trend all likely to take their fair share of play. Eleven are entered.

◗ Kentucky Downs Turf Dash (race 7): This six-furlong race might be the most interesting on the card. Regally Ready is still after his first victory since the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs. Havelock returns after an unproductive summer in England. Sweet Cassiopeia would be facing the boys for the first time if she doesn’t run instead the same day at Churchill. Good Lord enters off a sharp win in the Don Bernhardt at Ellis Park. The speedy Saint Leon ships in from Chicago, and Longhunter exits a rugged renewal of the Fiddlers Patriot at Saratoga.

◗ Kentucky Downs Juvenile (race 6): This one sports plenty of intrigue, too, as the Iowa-bred phenom, Boji Moon, takes on several with promise, including the uncoupled Wayne Catalano duo of School On a Hill and Mister Special and a few from major stables – Pure Luxury (Dale Romans), Sweet Daddy (Tom Amoss), and Here’s Johnny (Wesley Ward).

◗ Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies (race 5): La Mejor Fiesta was second in a minor stakes at Colonial Downs in July, credentials enough to make her the favorite for Ward.