Saturday, September 25, 1999

Sprint looms contentious

Enquirer contributor

        FLORENCE — Of all the races on Turfway Park's $1.15 million sixth Kentucky Cup Day of Champions today, handicapper Mike Battaglia says, the shortest and quickest one may be the one with the biggest implications.

        It's the $150,000 Grade II Kentucky Cup Sprint, and Battaglia says he's impressed by the field. Battaglia made trainer Beau Greely's Five Star Day the 7-5 favorite, with John Kimmel's Successful Appeal next at 3-1 and Ted West's Freespool third at 4-1.

        Five Star Day hasn't won a stakes race in his five-start career. But he ran a blistering 1:07 3/5 first six furlongs in his latest outing, a second-place finish to the brilliant Forestry in the seven-furlong King's Bishop at Saratoga.

        “Five Star Day has unlimited potential,” Battaglia said. “Of all the races that could jump up and provide a Breeders' Cup winner, it's this one.

        “If Five Star Day wins, he could be the favorite in the ($1 million) Breeders' Cup Sprint (Nov. 6 at Gulfstream Park). He's lightly raced, he keeps getting better and he can fly.”

        Last year's Kentucky Cup Sprint was won by Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Reraise.

        “Our sprint is limited to 3-year-olds, and it's getting toward the end of the year,” he said. “Sprinters are developing, starting to mature and hit their peak.”


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