By Dick Downey
Depeche Chat will try to retain his title in the Franklin-Simpson mile at a morning line of 10-1; but he was 13-1 when he took the race last year.
Trained by Rusty Arnold and to be ridden again by 2012 meet leader Brian Hernandez, Jr., the 5-year-old gelding will make only his second start of the year after finishing fifth in a $45,000 allowance race at Indiana Downs on July 19. That race was won by Daddy Nose Best in a time less than a half-second off the track record.
Depeche Chat had yielding ground at Kentucky Downs last year. Recent rain has softened up the course some since the beginning of the meet, but unless the track takes substantially more precipitation after this post, the surface probably will be rated either firm or good.
Ol Army, who won an allowance race last year on ground rated good at Kentucky Downs, was second to Daddy Nose Best in that race at Indiana Downs. Since then, he's come back to run second again at the same track in a $45,000 optional claiming race. The Chuck Peery trainee is listed at 8-1.
Favored in the morning line is Illinois-bred Coalport, a son of Kitten's Joy that will run in the Ramsey colors for trainer Wayne Catalano from post 2. It'll be his first time at the all-turf track. Before winning an $80,000 optional claimer at Arlington Park on Aug. 17, Coalport finished sixth, beaten five lengths, in the Grade III Arlington Handicap.
Breaking from the post outside of Coalport is The Pizza Man, a son of English Channel. The Tom Amoss trainee is listed at 9-2 and was also bred in Illinois. He was third in the Grade III Stars and Stripes at Arlington two months back. The Pizza Man will try to turn the tables on Coalport after running a hard-closing second to him in the restricted Black Tie Affair Handicap at Arlington in June.
The Ramsey's also send in Lonesome Street, trained by Mike Maker and seeking redemption for five straight off-the-board finishes. Despite the horse's recent lack of success, oddsmaker Joe Kristufek has made Lonesome street 8-1 on the morning line.
One of the horses that defeated Lonesome Street this year is Rusty Arnold's A Diehl, who won at 7-5 odds at Indiana Downs in the J. Kenneth Self Shelby County Boys and Girls Club Stakes in June. Since then, A Diehl has lost to fellow entries Utley and Ol Army. Most recently, the 6-1 morning line finished fifth in the Mystic Lake Mile at Canterbury Park.
Utley, who's also beaten Lonesome Street, enters the Franklin-Simpson Mile off two straight wins in allowance company at Laurel Park and Keeneland. The race at Laurel, however, took place last September. After a seven month break, Utley won at Keeneland, and now he's coming to Kentucky downs after five more months away from the races. Jonathan Shepard, a trainer respected for his ability with layoff horses, trains Utley, listed at 6-1.
Trend, 5-1, is trained by MIchael Stidham and has recently shown he can run over varying types of turf surfaces, garnering three seconds and a win in his last four starts.
The Franklin-Simpson Mile field:
1. Positive Side, B. Blanc, G. Forster, 15-1
2. Coalport, C. Hill, W. Catalano, 4-1
3. The Pizza Man, L. Goncalves, T. Amoss, 9-2
4. Ol Army, J. Court, C. Peery, 8-1
5. Lonesome Street, A. Garcia. M. Maker, 8-1
6. Mellow Fellow, J. McKee, T. Richardson, 30-1
7. Depeche Chat, B. Hernandez Jr., G. Arnold II, 10-1
8. Braveman, V. Lebron, R. Anderson, 30-1
9. A Diehl, C. Lanerie, G. Arnold II
10. Utley, R. Napravnik, J. Sheppard, 6-1
11. Trend, J. Graham, M. Stidham, 5-1
Owners: 1 - Team Forster 131, LLC (Matthew Bond); 2 - Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey; 3 - Midwest Thoroughbreds, Inc. (Richard and Karen Papiese); 4 - Roger Braugh, Jr.; 5 - Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey; 6 - Ripplewood Farm (Chris Duff); 7 - Wind River Stables (Evan Trommer); 8 - David Downard; 9 - G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.; 10 - Augustin Stable (George Strawbridge, Jr.); 11 - Stone Farm (Arthur B. Hancock, III)
Breeders: 1 - John R. Penn & Bobby Keller; 2 - Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey; 3 - Midwest Thoroughbreds; 4 - Roger S. Braugh Jr.; 5 - Jon Kelly & Sarah Kelly; 6 - Ripplewood Farm LLC; 7 - Michelle L. Redding; 8 - B. P. Walden, P. Madden, L. Taylor,G. McDonald & Unbridled's Song Syndicate; 9 - G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.; 10 - Augustin Stable; 11 - Stone Farm