09/12/2005 11:00PM

Romans more low-key in KC Classic

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Chuck Saus/Mountaineer Race Track
M B Sea, winning the West Virginia Governor's Stakes, will run for trainer Dale Romans in the KC Classic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Early September is always a hectic time for trainer Dale Romans. He stays busy when returning home from Saratoga, reconsolidating his huge stable and searching for future stars at the Keeneland yearling sales.

Of course, some things differ year to year. While recently involved in drafting revised language to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority's new equine medication rules, Romans also withheld his entries from Turfway Park throughout opening week.

In the meantime, he is in a dramatically different position this year in Turfway's Kentucky Cup series, a five-race series worth $825,000. Last September, Romans had Roses in May as a huge favorite for the Kentucky Cup's anchor race, the Grade 2, $350,000 Classic. Although the horse came through with an easy win, Romans said he felt immense pressure leading up to the race. "Whenever it looks like you should win, there's always pressure," he said.

This time, Romans has M B Sea for the Classic. Instead of the one, he has just one of the many contenders.

"I love my position this year because there's not nearly as much pressure, plus I think he's going to run huge," he said. "His last race was great, and he's been doing good ever since. I'm really looking forward to it."

M B Sea will be part of a big field in the Classic, a 1 1/8-mile race. The prospective field took some adjusting Tuesday, when Royal Assault dropped out and trainer Bob Baffert was noncommittal about whether Senor Swinger would run. Other probables include Billy Allen, Cat Shaker, Grand Reward, Mambo Train, One Nice Cat, Salford City, and Silver Axe.

Romans's first starters at the 22-day Turfway Park meet were scheduled to run Wednesday, and he also said he plans to run My Ro in the $175,000 Turfway Breeders' Cup, the secondary feature in the Kentucky Cup series. My Ro, owned by a three-man partnership, worked an easy half-mile Tuesday in 51.40 seconds at Romans's home base, Churchill Downs.

"We're wanting to try her around two and get some graded black type," said Romans.

M B Sea and My Ro both will be ridden by Mark Guidry, who adds star power to the Kentucky Cup jockey roster. Gary Stevens, Patrick Valenzuela, and Rafael Bejarano are among the other top jockeys expected to ride Saturday at Turfway.

Ten Turfway races will be combined with four races from Kentucky Downs to make a 14-race Saturday card. Entries will be drawn Thursday.

Romans was one of the last holdouts in an unofficial boycott that put a damper on the first week of the meet. Two other highly successful Turfway trainers, Greg Foley and Bernie Flint, also had no starters during opening week but had scheduled runners Wednesday. At issue was the implementation of the new medication rules.

Fast Deal to KC Juvenile Fillies

Overbrook Farm plans to pay a $5,000 supplementary fee to run its homebred filly Fast Deal in the $100,000 KC Juvenile Fillies, according to Turfway racing officials.

Fast Deal, trained by D. Wayne Lukas, won an Aug. 29 maiden sprint at Saratoga by six lengths in her third and most recent start. Stevens has the call on Fast Deal in the one-mile Juvenile Fillies, for which about seven or eight are expected.

Greater Good works five furlongs

Greater Good, who scored the first of his four stakes victories last fall in the KC Juvenile, took another step toward the Indiana Derby when he worked a bullet five furlongs Tuesday in 59.40 seconds.

Trainer Bob Holthus said Greater Good has returned "in excellent shape" after undergoing knee surgery shortly after a 13th-place finish in the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

Greater Good is expected to face Don't Get Mad and Purim, among other 3-year-olds, in the $500,000 Indiana Derby on Oct. 1 at Hoosier Park.

* The Kentucky Thoroughbred Media announced Tuesday that its membership has voted Roses in May and Mayo on the Side as the male and female Horses of the Year for 2004. Awards presentations will be made between races Saturday at Turfway.