10/06/2004 11:00PM

Nothing to Lose tries to extend Ramseys' roll

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Perfect Soul is undefeated in three starts over the Keeneland turf course, including the Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile in April.

Owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey already have two Breeders' Cup starters in Classic contender Roses in May and likely Turf favorite Kitten's Joy. Saturday at Keeneland they seek to add another starter - this one to the Breeders' Cup Mile - when Nothing to Lose races in the Grade 1, $600,000 Shadwell Turf Mile.

The Ramseys aren't the only ones hoping to watch their horse earn a berth in the Breeders' Cup. Several of the entrants in the Shadwell are potentially Breeders' Cup-bound - as are other horses on Keeneland's 10-race card, which includes the Grade 1 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity and Grade 3 Sycamore Breeders' Cup.

, winner of the Grade 2 Fourstardave on Aug. 28 at Saratoga in his last start, is a contender in a well-matched field that includes Grade 1 winners Honor in War, Perfect Soul, and Sweet Return. He has momentum on his side - as do the Ramseys. They have been on an almost unstoppable roll over the past few months, winning the Whitney and Kentucky Cup Classic with Roses in May and the Secretariat and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic with Kitten's Joy.

If Nothing to Lose can feed off the power of the Ramseys' stable, he stands a strong chance. In addition to his win in the Fourstardave this summer at Saratoga, he ran a close second in the Bernard Baruch to Silver Tree, another Shadwell Turf Mile starter. Ken Ramsey insists his horse should have won.

"Another horse came out in the first turn and hit us in that race," he said. "He had blinkers on, so he couldn't see what happened, but it scared him and he tried to run off."

Despite racing much closer to the pace than normal, Nothing to Lose held tough in the lane, losing by a neck.

When Nothing to Lose raced four weeks later in the Fourstardave, Ramsey said trainer Bobby Frankel cut back his blinkers, and the horse relaxed and turned the tables on Silver Tree, beating him by a half-length. Based on recent performance, little separates Nothing to Lose and Silver Tree.

, who won this race last year over Honor in War, is again among the leading contenders. Unbeaten in three starts on the Keeneland grass course, he comes off a runner-up finish in the Grade 1 Atto Mile at Woodbine on Sept. 11. As well as he ran in that race, he has not been as effective this year as he was in 2003. He is 1-2-0 in 5 starts this year, with earnings of $391,549. Last year he went 3-2-1 in 8 starts and made $856,195.

, who finished three-quarters of a length behind Perfect Soul in the 2003 Shadwell Turf Mile, has also seen his recent earnings drop. Despite a winless record in four starts this year, Honor in War has not lost a step, trainer Paul McGee insists. Honor in War caught a boggy turf course in one race this year and was returning from a layoff in two other races, including his latest, a minor stakes at Arlington Park last month in which he finished third.

"He needed that race at Arlington; I had to baby him after he had a quarter crack," McGee said.

They all have Sweet Return to beat. Winner of the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in 2003, he exits four consecutive Grade 1 races. He finished eighth in his last race, the Arlington Million on Aug. 14. Gary Stevens has the mount for trainer Ron McAnally.

The field

Shadwell Turf Mile
Purse: $600,000; 1 mile, turf; Grade 1

PPHORSEJOCKEYODDS
1Ay CarambaJ. Santos20-1
2Surging RiverR. Bejarano15-1
3WarleighL. Melancon15-1
4Silver TreeP. Day6-1
5Honor in WarC. Borel12-1
6PuppeteerB. Blanc10-1
7Perfect SoulE. Prado5-2
8Sweet ReturnG. Stevens6-1
9Nothing to LoseR. Albarado9-5

* All starters carry 126 pounds
* Odds by Kristin Sadler
* Television: Saturday, 4-5 p.m. (Eastern), ESPN2