10/07/2009 12:00AM

Sheppard wants to see how Cloudy's Knight likes synthetic


Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard said he will consider the Nov. 7 Breeders' Cup Marathon for the Sovereign Award winner Cloudy's Knight, who on Sept. 19 won his lone start of the year, the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf.

"I guess we'd have to think about it if he seems to like the synthetic surface here [at Keeneland] and he runs well in the Sycamore," set for Oct. 22 on Keeneland turf, said Sheppard. "He's very fresh, and it's the end of the year, so the timing [16 days] wouldn't be a big concern."

Cloudy's Knight, a 9-year-old gelding with 37 starts and more than $2.1 million in earnings, has never raced on synthetic, but Sheppard said he is open to looking into it.

Meanwhile, the West Point Thoroughbreds connections said Awesome Gem, winner of the Hawthorne Gold Cup, likely will go next as a longshot in the BC Classic, although they do not want to eliminate the Marathon, in which he would be a major contender, as an alternative.

"Keep him on the list," said Jeff Lifson of West Point.

Michael McCarthy, assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher, said when Nite Light ran second to Awesome Gem in the Hawthorne Gold Cup "it wasn't under the best of circumstances." The 5-year-old Nite Light has shipped to Santa Anita, where McCarthy will be based through the winter.

Besides Awesome Gem, another notable winner from last weekend was Bold Chieftain in the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita. Like with Awesome Gem, it would seem the 1 1/2-mile distance of the Marathon would be in his scope, and he clearly likes the surface.