Updated on 09/16/2011 9:15AM

Pure Prize gets perfect trip


FLORENCE, Ky. - Pure Prize got a perfect trip from just off the pace and held off favored Dollar Bill to post his first career stakes victory Saturday in the $400,000 , centerpiece race of the ninth annual Kentucky Cup at Turfway Park.

Ridden by Mike Smith, who had won two of the four earlier Kentucky Cup races, Pure Prize surged past front-runners Abreeze and There's Zealous and held on to win the

Grade 2 Classic by three-quarters of a length. Bred and owned by the Phipps Stable, he returned $16.80 after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.24 over a fast track.

"The race set up perfect for him, and Mike rode him perfect," said assistant Buzz Tenney, who saddled Pure Prize in the absence of trainer Shug McGaughey.

Before an ontrack crowd of 9,810, and over a fast track, Abreeze and There's Zealous dueled through six furlongs in 1:10.84 while Pure Prize stalked from prime position. Hero's Tribute was next in line, while the four other starters were well behind.

Pure Prize zoomed to the front and opened a clear lead inside the furlong pole, but then Dollar Bill, the 2-1 choice, came flying under Pat Day.

"I thought he ran a terrific race," said Dollar Bill's trainer, Dallas Stewart, saying he would consider the Breeders' Cup Classic for his colt's next start.

Pure Prize is a 4-year-old colt by Storm Cat out of the Phipps's star racemare Heavenly Prize. From 16 previous starts, he had won a maiden race and three allowances. He finished second in his previous start, the Fourstardave, which was run on the Saratoga main track after being transferred from the grass.

The Classic changed complexion about a half-hour before post time when Tenpins, one of the likely favorites, was ordered scratched because he had been medicated with less than four hours to post time, in violation of state rules.

In the earlier Kentucky Cup races, Smith and trainer Bob Baffert swept the two 2-year-old races, the Juvenile with Vindication and the Juvenile Fillies with Atlantic Ocean; Trip won the Turfway Breeders' Cup; and Day Trader won the Sprint.