By Dick Downey
Good Lord returns to Kentucky Downs on Saturday to defend his title in the $150,000 Turf Dash, but he'll face stiff competition among the 13 entries.
It will be only the third start on turf for Good Lord, who won the Kentucky Downs fixture last year on yielding ground. Trainer Forrest Kaelin said at the time, "This horse will run over any surface right now."
Good Lord fell on hard times, for him, starting in early April, when he finished sixth in the Tampa Bay Downs Sprint. That was followed by a third place finish in the Grade III Texas Mile, a fourth-place finish in the Grade III Aristides Stakes at Churchill Downs, and a fourth-place finish, beaten 11 lengths, in the Kelly's Landing at Churchill. However, he rebounded with a nice win in the Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park on July 20.
Good Lord, who sports a morning line of 12-1, is one of only two entries with a race over the track.
The other one is Longhunter, who will race with the familiar silks of Ken and Sarah Ramsey for trainer Mike Maker. He's listed at 5-1 based on the strength of his connections and three wins in his last four starts. Importantly or not, Longhunter ran in this same race last year on a yielding track and was beaten 20 lengths.
The parity that is presented in the Turf Dash is demonstrative of many of the races at Kentucky Downs. The morning line favorite is Ancil at 4-1. Trained by Joan Scott, Ancil has not been worse than forth in his last eight starts. He's won two of four races this year at Presque Isle Downs and Ellis Park.
Saint Leon is the 9-2 second choice on the morning line. Trained by Michelle Boyce, the Arlington Park runner will have E. T. Baird in the irons. The jockey will make only his fourth career start at the track. Saint Leon has won four of his last six starts, and he's hit the board in each of them.
The most intriguing entry is Havelock from the barn of Darrin Miller, listed at 8-1. He exits a pair of serious losses, but both were incurred in group 1 races in Europe -- the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, and the Darley July Cup at Newmarket. He was ridden each time by Frankie Dettori. Havelock's most recent win came in the Grade III Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland in April.
Also expected to attract attention at the bedding windows are Sweet Cassiopea, trained by William Connelly, and Regally Ready from the barn of Steve Asmussen. Each is listed at 6-1.
The complete field for the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash Stakes, in post position order:
1. Perfect Parker, V. Lebron, E. Williams 20-1
2. Good Lord, J. Castanon, F. Kaelein, 12-1
3. Havelock, J. Graham, D. Miller, 8-1
4. Tidal Volume, L. Goncalves, T. Amoss, 20-1
5. Sweet Cassiopeia, B. Hernandez Jr., W. Connelly, 6-1
6. Saint Leon, E. T. Baird, M. Boyce, 9-2
7. Regally Ready, D. Flores, S. Asmussen, 6-1
8. Ancil, C. Lanerie, J. Scott, 4-1
9. Gold for Cash, J. Graham, J. Caudill, 30-1
10. Luzianna Man, N. Arroyo Jr., C. LoPresti, 20-1
11. Cherokee Lord, D. Insencio, B. Inman, 20-1
12. Longhunter, A. Garcia, M. Maker, 5-1
13. Xbalanque, E. Castro, M. Cameron, 12-1
Owners: 1 - Stewart M. Madison; 2 - Thomas D. Shank and Stan Young; 3 - Silverton Hill, LLC (Bonnie and Tommy Hamilton); 4 - Robin L. Murphy; 5 - Dan Considine and Steve C. Snowden; 6 - Margaret Burlingham; 7 - Vinery Stables, LLC (Tom Ludt); 8 - Scott Farmer and Kathy Thompson; 9 - Katharine B. Sutphin; 10 - Stonehaven Steadings (Jeff and Chiquita Reddoch); 11 - Millard R. Seldin Revocable Trust and Estate of Hoss Inman; 12 - Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey; 13 - Tim Reinert
Breeders: 1 - Glencrest Farm & Stewart Madison; 2 - Marilyn Fazo Seltzer; 3 - Silverton Hill, LLC; 4 - Barry B. Conrad & Carol W. Conrad; 5 - Steve C. Snowden & Dan Considine; 6 - Six Winters Farm LLC; 7 - Grapestock LLC; 8 - George Pruette; 9 - Liberation Farm & Brandywine Farm; 10 - Stonehaven Steadings; 11 - Hoss Inman Estate & Millard R. SeldinRev. Trust; 12 - D. D. and Mrs Jean P. Clee; 13 - Eduarda Racing Stables, LLC