09/23/2008 11:00PM

Poly the draw in Ky. Cup Classic


FLORENCE, Ky. - Six older horses with possible designs on the Breeders' Cup Classic have been entered in the Kentucky Cup Classic, with Zanjero, Stream Cat, and Honest Man the logical favorites in what shapes up as a telling prep because of the similar surfaces at Turfway and Santa Anita.

The $350,000 Kentucky Cup Classic, the anchor race in the 15th annual Kentucky Cup series at Turfway Park, will be run Saturday over Polytrack, while the BC Classic also will be run over a synthetic track, Pro-Ride, on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita. Although none of the Kentucky Cup horses have necessarily shown themselves to be among the elite dirt horses in North America, it is the different surface that has their connections holding out hope for the Breeders' Cup.

Zanjero, a consistent 4-year-old whose last race on Polytrack resulted in a close third-place finish in the 2007 Blue Grass Stakes, was assigned post 2 in the 1 1/8-mile Kentucky Cup Classic.

"He's a nice horse, and this looked like a good spot to run him," trainer Steve Asmussen said. "He travels well and has run well in a lot of different circumstances."

Zanjero, who has been stabled at Saratoga for the last two months, will be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan in the Grade 2 Kentucky Cup Classic. Honest Man, with Terry Thompson to ride, will start from post 1, while Stream Cat and Julien Leparoux got post 6.

Honest Man has had 10 starts, all on dirt, although "he acts like a synthetic horse," according to trainer Larry Jones.

The rest of the field for the Kentucky Cup Classic is Yate's Black Cat, Extreme Supreme, and Canela.

The Classic is carded as the 10th of 12 Saturday races and the last of the Kentucky Cup races. In order, beginning with the sixth race on the card, those other races - all worth $100,000 - are the Juvenile Fillies, Sprint, Juvenile, and Distaff. First post is 1:10 p.m. Eastern, with the Classic set for 6:02.

While the Classic is by far the richest race in the Kentucky Cup, there is a slight catch. While none of the other purses include bonuses from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund, the Classic purse includes $150,000 from the KTDF, for which only nominated Kentucky-breds are eligible.