06/30/2011 4:17PM

Thistledown: Familiar foes square off in Gold Cup


A field of 10 Ohio-bred 3-year-olds will meet in Saturday’s 44th running of the 1  1/8-mile, $75,000 Daniel Stearns Cleveland Gold Cup at Thistledown.

The two top contenders are Master Rocket and Trophy Boy, both stakes winners this year. The pair met in the 1 1/16-mile Green Carpet Stakes on the grass at River Downs in their last start on May 29, with Master Rocket proving best by a length. It was his first try around two turns.
Master Rocket is owned by his breeder, Fred Nemann. He is trained by Kris Nemann and will be ridden by Ramon Luna.

Trophy Boy set the pace in the Green Trophy before being caught in the final yards. He has made three career starts, all this year. He led every step of the way in the six-furlong Noonan Handicap at Beulah Park on April 16 and won his first start going 5 1/2 furlongs there.

Trophy Boy will have little opposition setting the pace and is very capable of wiring this field under Luis Gonzalez. William Cowans trains Trophy Boy for owner-breeder Meadow Springs Farm LLC.

Ten Martinis was third, beaten less than three lengths, in the Green Carpet in his last start. He offered a strong middle move to draw to within a length of Master Rocket and Trophy Boy at the eighth pole, but then could not sustain his rally. A little improvement off that effort would make him a strong factor. Kris Fox rides Ten Martinis for trainer Mark Doering.