10/21/2008 11:00PM

Shepherd revved up for Cup

Email

OKLAHOMA CITY - Jockey Justin Shepherd left Remington Park on Tuesday headed for Santa Anita, where he will ride Sing Baby Sing in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. It will be the first mount in the championship series for the 22-year-old rider, who traveled to Keeneland and upset the Grade 3 Phoenix with the Remington-based horse on Oct. 4. The race was the synthetic surface debut for Sing Baby Sing, who was 26-1.

"He ran great," Shepherd said. "We were kind of concerned about how he would get over Polytrack, and he actually really liked it. I think it really helped him. It moved him up a bunch."

Shepherd said he likes the potential pace scenario for Sing Baby Sing in the Sprint.

"I think he'll run good, because obviously there's going to be a lot of speed in the race, and he's a very manageable horse," said Shepherd. "You can do what you want with him, so I think that will make him a little bit more competitive."

Shepherd, who rides Sing Baby Sing for Tom Durant and trainer Jack Bruner, is a top-10 rider each season at Lone Star Park and Remington. His father, David, and brother, Dusty, are jockeys, and his mother, Sherri, is a trainer. Justin said the Breeders' Cup mount is a career highlight for him. He registered his first win in September 2002, at Remington.

"Everybody dreams about a day like this," he said. "It's going to happen now. I can't wait."

Shepherd is not the only rider with Remington ties who will be at the Breeders' Cup. Tony McNeil, 51, has the mount on City Style in the $1 million Juvenile Turf. McNeil is based at Retama Park, but his sons, jockeys Bryan and Erik, are both riding at Remington.

Greeley's Conquest aims for Ack Ack

The same team that won the $350,000 Oklahoma Derby on Sunday with Golden Yank will be back in action this weekend at Churchill Downs with Greeley's Conquest. Trainer Gary Thomas said he's being pointed for the Grade 3, $100,000 Ack Ack Handicap on Sunday.

He will be ridden by Jamie Theriot, who guided Golden Yank to a clear win in the Oklahoma Derby for Millard Seldin, who also owns Greeley's Conquest. Greeley's Conquest had been scheduled to run in the Phoenix, but was scratched.

"He spiked a little temperature," Thomas said. "It came down right away, but we didn't want to take any chances running."

Greeley's Conquest, the runner-up in the Grade 1 Forego, has been training in Kentucky.

Thomas said Golden Yank has a couple of options for his next start: the Grade 3, $100,000 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill on Nov. 9, or the $150,000 Zia Park Derby on Dec. 6.

The Oklahoma Derby was one of two stakes wins that the Kentucky-based Theriot had at Remington on Sunday. He also won the $125,000 Remington Green with Steve's Double. It was the right way to start the week, as Theriot, 29, will be at Santa Anita on Saturday to ride probable favorite Mr. Nightlinger in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, and Terrain in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Swan song for Miss Macy Sue

Trainer Kelly Von Hemel was at Remington last weekend to start horses in a couple of stakes races, flying to town after working Miss Macy Sue five furlongs in a bullet 59 seconds at Hawthorne on Oct. 18.

He said she is being pointed for the $150,000 Ontario Fashion Stakes at Woodbine on Nov. 2. The six-furlong race for fillies and mares will likely be the final start for Miss Macy Sue, who is scheduled to be retired and bred, said Von Hemel.

Miss Macy Sue was third last year in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at six furlongs. This year the race will be run at seven furlongs, and Von Hemel said the distance was the main reason she was not pre-entered for 2008.

Miss Macy Sue has registered 10 of her 11 wins at six furlongs. The 5-year-old mare last raced at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 13, and finished second by a half-length in the $400,000 Masters.