11/05/2008 12:00AM

Knights Cross back on dirt


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Eddie Kenneally knows something about good older sprinters, having trained Kelly's Landing to more than $1.85 million in earnings. So when Windmill Manor Farm asked Kenneally to take a fast but unaccomplished colt named Knights Cross with him to Florida last winter, the obvious mission was to tap that potential.

So far, so good. Knights Cross has won 4 of 9 starts for Kenneally, having climbed the allowance ladder in winning races at Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs, and Belmont Park. With a chance to join the stakes ranks this winter in Florida, Knights Cross may prove tough to catch Thursday when he faces five opponents in the Churchill feature, a $56,000 fourth-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Knights Cross, a 4-year-old by Thunderello, "is going turf to dirt after he didn't run too well over at Keeneland," said Kenneally. "That's okay. He's probably a better dirt horse."

Knights Cross, with leading rider Julien Leparoux named, figures to lead for a long way in the eighth of 10 Thursday races. Kenneally said he would like to have one more race at Churchill for the colt before the meet ends Nov. 29, although he is saving a spot in the Bet on Sunshine later this month for Kelly's Landing.

Three horses appear particularly capable of running down Knights Cross on Thursday, and two are trained by Paul McGee. No Fault, a third-level allowance winner at Keeneland after being away since a May 10 allowance at Churchill, will form an uncoupled stable entry with Success Success, who closed strongly to be second to Indian Chant in his most recent start, a May 11 allowance at Churchill.

Success Success "just needed a little R and R," said McGee.

The lone 3-year-old in the race, Liberty Bull, exits the tough Perryville Stakes at Keeneland and also looms a viable contender for trainer Tom Amoss. Adore the Gold and Nar round out the lineup.

Another allowance, a 1 1/8-mile turf route worth $53,000, is carded Thursday as the ninth race. Dale Romans has an uncoupled pair that rate good chances: Gaelic Storm narrowly missed for the same third-level condition in his latest at Keeneland, while Monashee Gold will try to recapture the form that took him to back-to-back turf allowance victories at the 2007 Churchill spring meet.

A third allowance (race 4) pits seven fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, with Awesome Moment and Lady on Holiday rating highly.