10/25/2005 11:00PM

Wedding Singer looms large for Pletcher


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Todd Pletcher will be very busy Friday at Belmont Park when he gets ready for the Breeders' Cup the following afternoon, but he should have a couple of minutes to peek at a simulcast monitor to see whether his powerhouse stable will bag yet another stakes win at Keeneland.

Pletcher will be represented by Wedding Singer in the Friday feature at Keeneland, the $100,000 Bourbon County Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 2-year-olds. A victory by Wedding Singer would be no surprise, as the colt already has run two creditable races on grass, winning an Aug. 26 maiden race at Saratoga some five weeks before finishing third in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes at Woodbine.

, owned by Dogwood Stable, will be ridden by Mike Smith when he breaks from post 6 in a field of eight.

Pletcher, the nation's earnings leader among trainers, already has enjoyed a sensational year on the Kentucky circuit, having won such major stakes as the Lane's End and Kentucky Cup Classic at Turfway Park and the Blue Grass, Lexington, and Shadwell Mile at Keeneland.

If Wedding Singer is to be denied in the Bourbon County, the horses to do so could be Hyte Regency, International Cat, Yankee Master, or Kid Lemonade.

is the lone stakes winner in the group, having captured the Harrah's Juvenile at Louisiana Downs four weeks ago. International Cat used a searing late run to win an allowance prep over the Keeneland course two weeks ago. And Yankee Master, with leading jockey Rafael Bejarano named to ride, won his lone start by three lengths on Sept. 24 at Belmont.

As for , a decent performance would salvage what has been a forgettable Keeneland fall meet for Tim Ritchey. The veteran trainer had hoped to run Afleet Alex in the Perryville Stakes two weeks ago, but the star colt was kept on the sidelines with an ankle injury that has not fully healed. Kid Lemonade, the only horse to ship to Keeneland for Ritchey, was beaten 23 lengths in the Breeders' Futurity on opening weekend, but perhaps the move to turf can help him turn things around.

Probably the most interesting Bourbon County entrant is Uffizi. Owned and trained by Fred Seitz, Uffizi is an unraced maiden.

The Bourbon County goes as the ninth of 10 races on another outstanding Friday card. Four allowances (races 3, 6, 7, and 8) serve as support. First post is 1:15 p.m. Eastern.