08/25/2010 5:58PM

Rustler Hustler heads nominations for Cradle


River Downs will contest its two premier races for 2-year-olds, the $100,000 Cradle Stakes and $50,000 Bassinet, on Labor Day weekend.

A total of 19 2-year-olds are still eligible to run in the Cradle, a 1 1/16-mile turf event. The first three finishers of last week’s allowance prep for the Cradle can be supplemented for a reduced price of $1,500, and 16 others have kept up with the necessary payments and are still eligible.

Rustler Hustler, trained by Tim Hamm, is the most accomplished of the 16. A Pennsylvania-bred, Rustler Hustler won at second asking at Presque Isle Downs on June 26. After a second in an entry-level allowance event July 23, Rustler Hustler shipped to Monmouth Park, where he won the $101,000 Continental Mile on Aug. 14 in his first attempt on the grass. Rustler Hustler is the only stakes winner nominated to the Cradle, however, 2-year-olds can still be supplemented to the Cradle for $6,000.

Hamm also has Cat Sweep nominated. Other trainers with multiple horses nominated are Mike Maker and Ken McPeek, each with four.
The Bassinet has 10 nominated, including last week’s Bassinet prep winner Bach Hamilton. Trained by John Hancock, Bach Hamilton went wire to wire in the local prep for the stakes. She won her maiden at Churchill on May 30.
Six of the 10 nominated are coming into the Bassinet off a win, Ask Miss Greely, Blings Rising Star, Elusive Wildcat, Sonja’s Angel, and Winkling Star also won their last start. Fillies can be supplemented to the Bassinet for $3,000.