09/10/2006 11:00PM

Make that the Kentucky Cup Classic


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer Tony Reinstedler on Monday clarified his postrace comments in the aftermath of the Turfway Park Fall Championship, tempering his ambitions for the victorious Gouldings Green.

"I know I said I'd point him to the Breeders' Cup Classic, but I meant the Kentucky Cup Classic," the highlight of the Sept. 30 Kentucky Cup series at Turfway in Florence, Ky. "That's not to say I wouldn't take a long, hard look at the Breeders' Cup if we were to win the Kentucky Cup. I would, although obviously that'd be up to the boss."

Gouldings Green, owned by the Melnyk Racing Stables of Eugene and Laura Melnyk, earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure for his sensational late run to win the $100,000 Fall Championship. Gouldings Green, a 5-year-old horse by Charismatic, has been ultra-consistent throughout his 4- and 5-year-old campaigns, with a 95 Beyer being his lowest in his last 12 starts.

"I'm extremely happy with him right now," said Reinstedler, who is based at Churchill Downs. "We'll point to the Kentucky Cup and go from there. I might actually fit better in the Ack Ack," a Grade 3 race to be run on the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup program at Churchill, "but if he runs like he did Saturday, he might force us into some tough decisions. I'm just being cautiously optimistic about everything."

Bernardini, Lava Man, and Invasor are among the big names targeting the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

Cognac Kisses gains confidence

Ever since Cognac Kisses finished third, beaten only a length, in his career debut last March in the Hansel Stakes at Turfway, trainer Claude Brownfield said he had been looking forward to "having some fun" with the 3-year-old son of Dixie Union.

But Cognac Kisses failed to win in three subsequent races, all of them rugged maiden events at Keeneland or Churchill Downs. Finally, the colt won for the first time when he captured an Aug. 3 maiden race at River Downs by 15 lengths, although Brownfield said he strongly believed Cognac Kisses was capable of being competitive with classier company. He was entered but scratched out of Saturday's Fall Championship.

That faith was upheld Sunday at Turfway, where Cognac Kisses, ridden by John McKee, outdueled heavily favored Likely in an unrestricted allowance sprint. Cognac Kisses, a Maryland-bred owned by Tim Schneider, paid $27.20 after prevailing by a neck.

"That River race really built up his confidence," said Brownfield, a 38-year-old native of northern Kentucky. "He's been full of himself ever since then, and I think that really helped him [Sunday]."

Brownfield, who oversees a 12-horse stable at Turfway, said Cognac Kisses will make his next start in the Sept. 30 Kentucky Cup Sprint.

Likely, ridden by Julien Leparoux, was making his first start since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Breeders' Cup Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day at Belmont Park. Trainer Patrick Biancone said that Likely, winner of the Lafayette Stakes at Keeneland in April, also will run back in the KC Sprint.

* Later Sunday, Leparoux prevailed aboard an odds-on favorite when Soul Search ($3.40), trained by Neil Howard, drew off for a 3 1/2-length triumph in the ninth-race feature, a $30,700 unrestricted allowance. Soul Search, a 4-year-old A.P. Indy filly, is a logical candidate for the Turfway Breeders' Cup, part of the Kentucky Cup series.

* The Wednesday feature at Turfway is a $26,000 second-level allowance that drew a field of nine fillies and mares. Leo's Pegasus, another Howard trainee, looks like the one to beat after recently knocking out her first allowance condition at Saratoga.

* The next stakes at Turfway comes Saturday with the 21st running of the $75,000 Marfa Stakes. Notable names among the 40 nominations include Caller One, Coach Jimi Lee, Fifteen Rounds, Yes Yes Yes, and Yucatan.

* Through the first five-day week at the Turfway fall meet, Leparoux leads a tightly bunched group atop the jockey standings. He has six wins, followed by fellow apprentice Victor Lebron and journeyman John McKee with five each. There is a six-way tie for leading trainer with two wins each.

* Kentucky Downs, the turf-only track in Franklin, opens its six-day fall meet Saturday. The highlight of the meet comes Sept. 23 with the Kentucky Cup turf series. Kentucky Downs will join Turfway in melded 16-race cards on each of the next two Saturdays while hosting stand-alone eight-race cards on the next two Mondays and Tuesdays.

* Churchill Downs will close for simulcasting from Sept. 27-30 because of the extensive setup and tear-down required for the Sept. 29 Rolling Stones concert. All simulcast operations will move to the nearby Trackside annex during that time.