09/19/2006 11:00PM

Silverfoot to defend Ky. Cup title

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Silverfoot will be back in the rural environs of Franklin, Ky., on Saturday to defend his title in the Kentucky Cup Turf, the Grade 3 race that serves as the annual highlight of the Kentucky Downs meet.

Silverfoot, trained by Dallas Stewart, posted a seven-length victory with a terrific late surge in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf last year and has since retained solid form while keeping high-class company. He is scheduled to face eight other older horses in the 10th running of the 1 1/2-mile Turf.

Besides 8-year-old Silverfoot, the Turf also drew another venerable gelding, 10-year-old Rochester, who will be running in the Turf for the fifth straight year. Rochester, trained by Jonathan Sheppard, won the 2002 and 2003 runnings before finishing second behind Silverfoot last year.

Like the Turf, two other Kentucky Cup races were drawn for Saturday at Kentucky Downs - the $100,000 KC Ladies Turf, and the $100,000 KC Turf Dash. Both drew full fields and appear to be excellent betting races. The one-mile Ladies Turf is headed by Dynamist, who just last Saturday captured the Pleasant Temper by four lengths at Kentucky Downs, while the six-furlong Turf Dash figures to have Atticus Kristy as the logical favorite.

The Kentucky Cup Turf is the richest of three Kentucky Cup events set for Saturday at turf-only Kentucky Downs. Because of a scheduling change at Turfway Park, this is the first year that the Kentucky Cup turf races will be run before the Kentucky Cup series at Turfway. That five-race, $825,000 series is set for Sept. 30.

Twin bill to see 16 races

A fourth stakes will be run Saturday at Kentucky Downs, although technically it is not part of the Kentucky Cup series. The $50,000 Yaqthan, named for the first Kentucky Cup Turf winner in 1997, also will be part of the six-race live card.

For simulcast purposes, the Kentucky Downs races will be interspersed with 10 more from Turfway, where the $75,000 Weekend Delight Stakes will be featured. The 16-race marathon starts at 1:10 p.m. Eastern.

The Stewart-trained Hot Storm will put her perfect Polytrack record (3 for 3) on the line against a solid field that also includes Very Vegas, Malibu Mint, and Eyes on Eddy.

Course to have different look

Kentucky Downs's general manager, Ryan Driscoll, said the layout of the course will be tweaked for Saturday so as to avoid the rolled, or mostly barren, patches that resulted from heavy rain Monday.

Driscoll said the inner rails will be moved as far out as 37 feet from their normal position, although, in some spots, they will not move at all.

"We're avoiding most of the chopped-up ground while keeping the rail contiguous all the way around," he said.