(Spooky Channel / All Photos by Holly M. Smith)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Kevin Kerstein:
NBS Stable’s multiple graded stakes winner Spooky Channel is set to clash with Foster Family Racing, Douglas Miller and William Wargel’s returning Grade III winner Kitodan in Sunday’s sixth running of the $250,000 Ky Downs Turf Cup Preview, one of four stakes contests on the stellar nine-race program from Ellis Park Racing & Gaming.
The full field of turf specialists that entered the Ky Downs Turf Cup Preview will go to post at 3:55 p.m. (all times Central) in Race 9. First post is 11:45 a.m.
The stellar afternoon of racing will feature a quartet of stakes contests where the winners will receive an automatic entry-fees paid spot to their corresponding race at Kentucky Downs. The winner of the Ky Downs Preview Turf Cup will receive a berth to the Sept. 9, $1.7 million Kentucky Downs Turf Cup (GII).
Trained by Evansville, Ind. native Jason Barkley, Spooky Channel has spent the summer based at Ellis Park preparing for this start. The classy 8-year-old son of English Channel last ran in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs where he finished a gallant third behind Up to the Mark and Hong Kong Harry. Barkley claimed Spooky Channel for $80,000 on April 30, 2021 and five starts later won the Sycamore Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland. In late March, Spooky Channel edged clear of Rising Empire to win the Muniz Memorial (GII) at Fair Grounds. Jockey James Graham will have the mount from post No. 11.
Kitodan is also a former $80,000 claim by his trainer Eric Foster. The son of Point of Entry is set to make his 4-year-old debut in the Ky Downs Turf Cup Preview, his first start since his four-length victory in last year’s Dueling Grounds Derby (GIII). Kitodan’s resume also includes a victory at Churchill Downs in the Audubon Stakes, three weeks after Foster claimed him from trainer Mike Maker. Jockey Francisco Arrietawill ride Kitodan from post 8.
Other accomplished horses that entered the Ky Downs Turf Cup Preview include Ironhorse RacingStable, BlackRidge Stables, T-N-T Equine Holdings, and Saratoga Racing Partners multiple graded stakes winner Get Smokin and trainer Mike Maker’s duo of Texas Turf Classic winner King Cause and Schuster Memorial winner Me and Mr. C
Here is the complete field for the Ky Downs Turf Cup Preview from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):
- War Campaign (Corey Lanerie, Phil Sims)
- F Five (Rafael Bejarano, Brian Lynch)
- Cellist (Martin Garcia, Rusty Arnold II)
- Get Smokin (Luis Saez, Mark Casse)
- King Cause (Rene Diaz, Maker)
- Mount Rundle (Walter Rodriguez, Michelle Nihei)
- Me and Mr. C (Gerardo Corrales, Maker)
- Kitodan (Arrieta, Foster)
- McLovin (Alex Achard, Rodolphe Brisset)
- Siege of Boston (Jorge Ruiz, Jimmy Toner)
- Spooky Channel (Graham, Barkley)
- Camp Hope (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek)
AE 13. Vintage Print (Adam Beschizza, Paulo Lobo)
AE 14. Arturo Toscanini (IRE) (Luis Saez, Eddie Kenneally)
Kentucky Downs Preview Days will kick off Saturday with a trio of stakes contests each worth purses of $200,000 – the Dueling Grounds Preview, the Mint Ladies Turf Sprint Preview and the Mint Millions Mile Preview. First post Saturday is 11:45 a.m.
Ellis Park Racing Analyst Joe Kristufek will be live on-site for Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend. Kristufek will offer analysis and post-race interviews for the stakes events throughout the weekend on the simulcast signal while analyst Scott Shapiro will offer his expert thoughts from the studio. Fans can also watch Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend on FanDuel TV.
For more information about racing and wagering from Ellis Park, visit www.ellisparkracing.com.