Sycamore field of 11 includes Da Big Hoss
A half-length winner of the aforementioned claimer, Da Big Hoss has since been transformed into a graded stakes winner specializing in long distances. Elevated to first via disqualification in a second-level allowance at Saratoga in late July, Da Big Hoss then reeled off two more wins, in the $100,000 John's Call over a mile and five furlongs at the Spa and most recently in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs over 1 1/2 miles. The winning margin in both stakes was two lengths.
With a continuation of his solid current form in the 1 1/2-mile Sycamore, Da Big Hoss could give the Maker barn a needed boost after going winless with its first 15 starters at the Keeneland fall meet.
Holiday Star, second to Da Big Hoss in the John's Call, is back to defend his Sycamore title. A half-length winner last season under the now-retired Rosie Napravnik, the Graham Motion charge went unplaced in his next three starts before earning a confidence-boosting win in the $50,000 Cape Henlopen at Delaware Park prior to the John's Call.
Motion also saddles Divine Oath, a multiple Grade 3 winner last year and second in the PTHA President's Cup at Parx last time to Cage Fighter, who narrowly missed in last Saturday's Knickerbocker (G3) at Belmont Park.
Charming Kitten, who captured the two-mile Belmont Gold Cup in June 2014, threw a complete dud against a much tougher field in the Bernard Baruch H. (G2) last month and is poised to rebound. He returned from a near year-long layoff in June and was first and second in his initial two outings of the season.
Also looking to rebound from sub-par performances of late are Xtra Luck, the Louisiville H. (G3) winner, and Aldous Snow, a two-time winner of the Singspiel (G3) at Woodbine. Others who might sneak into the exotics with their very best are Kalamos, a recent longshot winner of a restricted stakes at Kentucky Downs; multiple Grade 2-placed Patrioticandproud; and the improving multiple stakes-placed Thatcher Street.
(Da Big Hoss photo: Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)