09/22/2008 11:00PM

Stream Cat auditioning for Breeders' Cup


If the Breeders' Cup Classic were not being run on a synthetic surface this year, there is absolutely no way that Stream Cat would be under consideration for the $5 million race.

But it is, and he is, and so what happens Saturday in the Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park will be crucial in helping trainer Rusty Arnold determine whether to send Stream Cat to Santa Anita for the Oct. 25 BC Classic.

"We feel like if he runs an impressive race Saturday, we'd have to go on to Santa Anita," said Arnold.

Stream Cat, a 5-year-old horse owned by a partnership that includes Fab Oak Stable and former basketball star Bobby Hurley, is one of at least seven horses likely for the $350,000 KC Classic, the richest of the five Kentucky Cup races to be run Saturday over the Polytrack surface in use at Turfway in Florence, Ky.

Although Stream Cat is a multiple stakes winner on turf, including the Arlington Handicap in July, Arnold said he believes the horse is "even better on the synthetic."

The record bears that out. Stream Cat won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at 2, finished third behind Hard Spun and Street Sense in the Kentucky Cup Classic last fall at 4, then was beaten just a neck by Go Between in the Fayette Stakes on the Keeneland Polytrack last October.

Go Between is perhaps the most highly accomplished synthetics horse in North America, and with the BC Classic to be run on the new Pro-Ride surface at Santa Anita, "we'd have to try it," said Arnold. "I know that Go Between is a well-thought-of horse for the Classic."

Stream Cat will be ridden by Julien Leparoux in the 1 1/8-mile KC Classic. He will be one of the favorites, along with Zanjero and Honest Man. Other probables are Yate's Black Cat, Bullsbay, Extreme Supreme, and Canela.

The other Kentucky Cup races, each worth $100,000, are the Distaff, Sprint, Juvenile, and Juvenile Fillies. Entries were to be drawn Wednesday at the track.

Asmussen's attention to be divided on Saturday

Trainer Steve Asmussen will be otherwise occupied Saturday when he saddles Curlin for a record-breaking attempt in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, but he will keep an eye peeled on the television signal from Turfway, where his far-flung stable will be represented by Zanjero in the Classic.

Zanjero, with a bankroll of just more than $1.4 million, is the leading earner among all the horses expected for the Kentucky Cup. The 4-year-old colt, an easy winner of the West Virginia Governor's Cup in his last start Aug.o2, will ship in from Saratoga, where he breezed an easy half-mile Monday in 51.60 seconds. Shaun Bridgmohan has the mount back.

Asmussen also will be represented in two other Kentucky Cup races: the Juvenile with Retap, and the Juvenile Fillies with unbeaten Juliet's Spirit.

Clock's ticking for Run Away and Hide

Run Away and Hide, the unbeaten winner of the Grade 2 Saratoga Special last month, was scheduled to breeze Wednesday at Churchill Downs after recovering from a minor foot ailment, according to trainer Ronny Werner.

"It won't be a stiff breeze by any means," said Werner. "We missed some time with him, but he's been training excellent. We just want to see where we are with him."

Werner said he had hoped to make the Oct. 4 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland, "but that's looking pretty iffy right now. We might just go straight to the Breeders' Cup [Juvenile]. Heck yes."

Run Away and Hide, by City Zip, is 3 for 3, having won a maiden race at Keeneland in April, the Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes in May, and the 6 1/2-furlong Saratoga Special on Aug. 14. Robby Albarado rode the colt in all three races.

'Polycapping' comes to Keeneland.com

In time for the start of its 17-day fall meet Oct. 3, Keeneland is introducing a new feature on its overhauled website called "Polycapping," a database for serious handicappers. "Our customers have told us they want more handicapping information, so we have tried our best to accommodate their needs," track publicist Julie Balog said Tuesday at a media breakfast at the Lexington, Ky., track.

As usual, the fall meet will be front-loaded with major Breeders' Cup preps. "FallStars Weekend," which includes nine stakes, will be run during opening weekend, Oct. 3-5.

"The FallStars concept has really matured," said track president Nick Nicholson. "It's become embedded in the fall racing calendar and really taken hold in the trainers' psyches."

Five of the FallStars events are Grade 1 stakes, led by the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster on Oct. 5.

* In conjunction with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Associations, Turfway is hosting its biannual Scholarship Day on Kentucky Cup Day. Ten $1,000 scholarships will be raffled off to registered college students between races. Keeneland and the KTA also will host a biannual Scholarship Day on Oct. 10.