Da Big Hoss installed as 7-5 choice in Kentucky Turf Cup repeat bid

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September 7th, 2016

Da Big Hoss will be a prohibitive favorite when he makes a title defense in the $600,000 Kentucky Turf Cup (G3), one of four stakes on the Saturday program at Kentucky Downs. The Mike Maker-trained horse registered his first graded stakes tally when rallying to a two-length decision 12 months ago and Da Big Hoss returns to the Franklin, Kentucky course with a three-race win streak.

The 5-year-old has been installed as the 7-5 morning line favorite with regular rider Florent Geroux.

Da Big Hoss is 4-for-5 this season, opening 2016 with an easy triumph in the John B. Connally Turf Cup (G3) at Sam Houston. After dropping the Mac Diarmida (G2) at Gulfstream, the well-traveled chestnut posted a narrow score in the Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland. He’s really come on as of late, establishing a new North American record for 2 miles on turf with a convincing victory in the Belmont Gold Cup and rolling to an authoritative 1 ¾-length win as the odds-on choice in the American St. Leger (G3) at Arlington.

A long-distance specialist, Da Big Hoss could make his next start overseas in the 2-mile Melbourne Cup (G1) on November 1.

Greengrassofyoming, an uncoupled stablemate in the Maker barn, is the 9-2 second choice among nine runners. Claimed for $62,500 from a Churchill Downs win three back, the 6-year-old gelding followed with a 9-1 upset in the Stars and Stripes (G3). Greengrassofyoming exits a fast-closing fourth, beaten only 1 ¼ lengths, in the Arlington Million (G1) and picks up the services of Julien Leparoux.

A pair of Southern California shippers, Power Foot and Seve’s Road, come next on the morning line at 6-1. Multiple Grade 2-placed Power Foot was last seen finishing seventh in the Del Mar H. (G2) for Neil Drysdale and will add James Graham to the saddle. Seve’s Road invades in improving form for Phil D’Amato, posting allowance/optional claiming wins in his last two turf outings, and Flavien Prat has the call.

Life’s Journey, who was last seen finishing second to Seve’s Road at Del Mar, will make his first start outside of the Golden State for conditioner Marsha Schwizer. Robby Albarao takes over the reins on the early 8-1 fifth choice. Grade 3 winner Bullards Alley and French stakes victor Behesht are listed at 10-1, and longshots Rum Tum Tugger and Verger round out the field.

A contentious cast of eight has been entered for the $400,000 More Than Ready Mile. Watchyourownbobber is a slight 3-1 early favorite after recording stakes wins at Indiana Grand and Mountaineer in his last two outings for Maker and Leparoux will be up.

Other contenders include Thatcher Street (7-2 morning line), Hootenanny (9-2), Dimension (5-1), Chiltern Street (6-1) and Songsational (6-1). Power Ped is listed as a 10-1 outsider for Drysdale, recording five consecutive unplaced finishes, but the 6-year-old gelding was a good second to Da Big Hoss in last year’s Kentucky Turf Cup.

Mississippi Delta and Miss Double d’Oro are leading contenders in the $350,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint, which features a field of 10 at 6-furlongs. In the $150,000 One Dreamer at a mile and 70 yards, Annulment, Entrechat and No Fault of Mine rate as top contenders among 10 distaffers.

Da Big Hoss photo courtesy of Four Footed Fotos

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