Race Preview: John Henry Turf Championship - Santa Anita, September 29, 2013

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Matt Carter

September 29th, 2013

The feature race on Sunday at Santa Anita is the 2nd running of the John Henry Turf Championship for three-year-olds and upward going 10 ten furlongs on the turf course. The defending champion, Slim Shadey, is in the race, but at 12-1 he is a long shot.

The lead in to the Breeders' Cup Turf is wide open; there are seven horses between 7-2 and 8-1 on the morning line. The favorite for the Grade 2 race is Indy Point, who is coming off a disappointing last place finish in the Grade 1 Arlington Million as the 5-2 post time favorite. The Argentine-bred son of Indygo Shiner won at this distance in his home country last year and will be tough if back on his game.

Looking to upset the favorite are Teaks North, Holding Glory, Kettle Corn, Tale of a Champion, Vagabond Shoes and Lucayan. Of those, Vagabond Shoes and Lucayan get top billing off of their one-two finish in the Del Mar Handicap last month.

Vagabond Shoes defeated Lucayan by a half length at Del Mar and now will be cutting back in distance by one furlong. The two look to have been working well in the mornings and will be doing their best running late.

Teaks North and Tale of a Champion will be out on the lead early along with Slim Shadey. They may not be able to hold for the ten furlongs, setting the race up for Indy Point, Vagabond Shoes, Lucayan and Kettle Corn. Trainer John Sadler decided to enter Kettle Corn in John Henry even though he had been knocking heads with some of the best main track horses in California. It was probably a good idea as there was no beating Mucho Macho Man on Saturday. Instead Kettle Corn looks like a contender in a wide open race, don't dismiss.

Post time for the John Henry on Sunday at the Great Race Place is 7:30 pm ET.