07/02/2010 12:00AM

Speed Demon adds blinkers for Bashford Manor


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - If Speed Demon is to pull a mild upset Saturday in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs, he most likely will have to pay closer attention to business than in his last start.

"Now that he has to move up and compete with some top horses, we're going to need him to be really focused," said trainer Bret Calhoun.

Speed Demon, blinkers on, figures to be the third wagering choice behind Lou Brissie and Kantharos in the 109th running of the $100,000 Bashford Manor. A field of six 2-year-olds was entered in the six-furlong race.

Speed Demon was sharp in winning a maiden race during Kentucky Derby week at Churchill, but in his only subsequent start, the Bluegrass Cat colt "was definitely shying from the other horses and clocking them" before finishing second under Joe Rocco Jr. in a small stakes May 22 at Delaware Park, said Calhoun.

"Joe was pretty adamant afterward that we put blinkers on him," said Calhoun.

Speed Demon will break from post 2 with Jamie Theriot aboard Saturday.

Lou Brissie, owned by Dogwood Stable and trained by Neil Howard, is the deserving favorite in the Bashford Manor, having won both career starts, most notably the Kentucky Juvenile on the April 30 Kentucky Oaks undercard. Lou Brissie, by 2003 Bashford Manor winner Limehouse, will have Corey Lanerie aboard when breaking from post 5.

Dogwood and Howard teamed up 21 years ago to win the Bashford Manor with Summer Squall, the 1990 Derby runner-up and Preakness winner.

Kantharos is the other obvious threat. Owned by the Stonestreet Stable of Jess Jackson and trained by Steve Asmussen, Kantharos was an 11 3/4-length winner of his only start on May 13 at Churchill. Kantharos will have Robby Albarado up when leaving from post 3.

Asmussen has won the Bashford Manor twice, with Lunarpal in 2004 and Kodiak Kowboy in 2007.

Gold for Cash, Saturday Dance, and Thewayitusedtobe complete the field.

The Bashford Manor is the co-feature with the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap.