09/20/2004 11:00PM

Rochester will go after third Kentucky Cup win

Matt Goins/EquiPix
Rochester, Eddie Martin Jr. up.

Rochester, the two-time defending champion, is expected back again Saturday to compete in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf, the richest of four Kentucky Cup grass races at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.

Pat Day is scheduled to be aboard Rochester in the Grade 3 Turf, a 1 1/2-mile race that highlights what is easily the biggest day of live racing each year at turf-only Kentucky Downs. Rochester won the 2002 Turf by 2 1/2 lengths, then was awarded victory last year after the disqualification of Art Variety. Eddie Martin Jr. rode Rochester both times.

Jonathan Sheppard is the trainer of Rochester, an 8-year-old gelding who is winless in four starts this year but has raced respectably in graded company during most of that limited campaign. An earner of $915,837, Rochester was most recently fourth to Better Talk Now in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer on Aug. 14 at Saratoga.

Besides Rochester, the other probables for the Turf include the Ken McPeek-trained duo of Art Variety and Gorylla; Quest Star, a winner of more than $700,000; Sabiango, owned by "The Horse Whisperer," Monty Roberts; and Sharbayan, Dontbotherknocking, and Deputy Strike.

Three other Kentucky Cup stakes, each with a purse of $100,000, are set for Saturday. In those races:

* Del Mar Show will be a major contender in the Mile if trainer Bill Mott sends him. If not, the leading names in the field might be Bishop Court Hill and Gretchen's Star.

* Sand Springs, trained by Tony Reinstedler, will be the filly to catch and beat in the Ladies Turf at one mile. A large field is expected.

* Maryland shipper Abderian was beaten about a half-inch last year in the Turf Dash and will be back to try again this year for trainer Benny Feliciano Jr. Battle Won, Truman's Raider, and either of the Steve Asmussen-trained pair of Mighty Beau or Western Roar also is likely to go.

Entries for all Saturday races were to be drawn Wednesday.

Kaenel, 16, gets first win

Kyle Kaenel, 16, won the first race of his nascent riding career when guiding Load a Chronic to a nose victory in the seventh race Monday at Kentucky Downs.

Kaenel is the son of jockey "Cowboy Jack" Kaenel, who was just 16 when he won the 1982 Preakness aboard Aloma's Ruler. The younger Kaenel grew up primarily in Kansas and Illinois before moving to Kentucky in May to exercise horses. His first mount came at the end of the Ellis Park meet that ended Sept. 6.

Jack Kaenel has lived mostly in California in recent years, where he has worked as a jockey, an exercise rider, and in jobs outside of racing.

Load a Chronic is owned and trained by Bernard Girdley. The 4-year-old gelding returned $62 to win.

Krigger to try Kentucky circuit

Jockey Kevin Krigger is moving his tack to Kentucky, and retired jockey Randy Romero has begun working as his agent.

Krigger was one of the most successful apprentice riders in North America in 2002, when his mounts won 104 races and more than $2.3 million. He rode mostly in northern and Southern California that year, but recently had been riding at Emerald Downs in Washington state.

Romero, a 2004 Hall of Fame nominee, worked as an agent for Jose Martinez this year at Arlington Park before taking off most of the summer with persistent health woes. Romero, who suffers from liver and kidney disease, said Tuesday that he is "doing okay. At least I feel good enough to come back to work."

Romero said Krigger intends to ride in Kentucky through the winter at Turfway Park.