06/10/2010 12:00AM

Lost Aptitude has license to run much better


It doesn't take a genius to figure that Lost Aptitude is far better than his last two races suggest. So when he returns to action Saturday in the $100,000 Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs, trainer Dale Romans won't be the only one expecting a much-improved effort.

Lost Aptitude became known as a rising turf star over the winter when he was narrowly defeated in the Tropical Park Derby following terrific back-to-back grass wins at the Churchill fall meet. But then he was trounced in the Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park and the American Turf at Churchill.

"He hated the dirt at Gulfstream, and the pace was way too fast in his last one," said Romans.

Duly noted. With Garrett Gomez taking over Saturday, and with the likelihood of a more favorable pace scenario to develop in the 1 1/16-mile Jefferson Cup, horseplayers will be showing their more forgiving sides by making Lost Aptitude one of the favorites in a field of nine 3-year-olds.

"He's training awfully good, I know that," said Romans.

The Jefferson Cup (race 7) is one of three Grade 3 races sandwiched between the Fleur de Lis (race 6) and Stephen Foster (race 10) on a blockbuster card.

Other logical players in the 35th Jefferson Cup include Asphalt and Guys Reward, the two-three finishers in the April 30 American Turf, and Our Douglas, an impressive last-out allowance winner over the Churchill course.