10/07/2009 11:00PM

Kiss the Kid may get one last shot


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Despite indications he would be retired following his last race, Kiss the Kid was a surprise addition to the nominations list for the Grade 2, $300,000 Meadowlands Cup on Oct. 16.

A 6-year-old winner of $676,267, Kiss the Kid finished third in the Grade 3 Cliff Hanger on turf on Oct. 3, the featured event on opening weekend at the Meadowlands. He challenged for the lead turning for home before being outfinished.

"I thought the last race was somewhat disappointing," said Amy Tarrant, who owns and trains Kiss the Kid. "He came out of the last race feeling good. A lot of factors will determine whether he goes or not, including his blood levels. Then we'll see who is in the race. It's not definite, but I am seriously considering it."

Plans are in place for Kiss the Kid, a multiple graded stakes winner, to stand at Journeyman Stud in Ocala, Fla., where he'll join former stablemate Indy Wind.

Before then, Kiss the Kid could have one final run in the Meadowlands Cup. Although primarily a grass runner, Kiss the Kid has run well on the main track. His lone Meadowlands dirt appearance came in 2007, when he won the off-the-turf Cozzene Stakes in the slop.

Tarrant said she normally wouldn't run a horse back so soon but could make an exception.

"He might be a little tired, but he's got the rest of his life to rest and breed mares," Tarrant said.

Chirac to return next year

Chirac, one of the top older dirt horses at Monmouth Park this summer, is recovering from an illness and being pointed for a 2010 campaign.

Chirac capped a 4-for-5 campaign at Monmouth with a 6 3/4-length win in the Grade 3 Philip Iselin Stakes on Aug. 22, producing a career-best 107 Beyer Speed Figure. But after the Iselin, Chirac came down with a virus and was shut down for the rest of the year.

"It was nothing serious," trainer Jane Cibelli said. "He had a little bit of fever after the last race, and normally, you come back without too much of a problem. But he just didn't come back that good, and I thought he was a little bit tired. I think he was trying to tell us something. We decided to not push the issue, to give him the time off as that was going to be his last race of the year, anyway."

After a vacation on a farm in Maryland, Chirac will join Cibelli's stable at Tampa Bay Downs this winter and will probably reappear in the Gulfstream Park meet.

"He should come back next year as good as new," Cibelli said. "He ran a lot, starting in February. He had a great run, running hard in tough spots. He didn't have any easy races. Hopefully, he can do the same thing again."

Presious Passion gears up for Breeders' Cup

Scratched from last weekend's Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont, Presious Passion flew to California on Wednesday for the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship on Sunday at Santa Anita.

If he runs well there, he will remain at Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup Turf, where he holds a guaranteed spot as the Win and You're In victor in Monmouth's Grade 1 United Nations Stakes.

Trainer Mary Hartmann said she hoped to use the Joe Hirsch as his Breeders' Cup tuneup, but then the rain came - in buckets.

Presious Passion is a front-runner who needs a firm course. When the skies opened up, Presious Passion was scratched and rerouted to Santa Anita.

Hartmann said she wanted to avoid a repeat of last year's Joe Hirsch, where Presious Passion was badly beaten on a yielding course.

"He doesn't like it, and he can't handle it," Hartmann said. "We wanted to get a good race into him before the Breeders' Cup. It didn't start raining until the sixth or seventh race, so we almost made it. When it rained, it really rained."

Hartmann said she is hoping for dry, firm conditions in California. This will be his first start since the Arlington Million on Aug. 8, when he was a tiring eighth to Gio Ponti on a rain-softened course.

A 6-year-old gelding, Presious Passion has a history of running well fresh and has experience on Santa Anita's course, finishing second in the Sunshine Millions Turf in January.