Jefferson Cup Goes at Churchill

Category : News - Fri 27/09/2013 - 14:39 EDT

While most of the attention Saturday afternoon at Churchill will be on 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Fort Larned and the inaugural running of the Homecoming Stakes, the Grade III Jefferson Cup Stakes that will immediately follow is shaping up to be a good race as well. A $100,000 one-mile turf event for three-year-olds and up, the race has drawn a solid field of nine runners, with General Election the early favorite at 3-1. After winning the Grade III Arlington Classic in May, he’s since come up with two also-ran efforts and is looking to get back on his winning form.

Question if Balino can get the full mile

His challenge will likely come from 4-1 Balino, who has been in the money in four straight in lower stakes races, and decisively won his latest, the Naked Greed Stakes at Calder, by six lengths. That was at 7 ½ furlongs, and it will be interesting to see how he does in the mile, as he has had trouble staying on when going around two turns. Miceli (5-1) did go a mile last time out at Saratoga in the Dance of Life Stakes, finishing a diminishing second over graded-stakes winner Winning Cause.

Tate’s Landing has overcome the odds before

An intriguing longshot at 12-1 in the morning line might be Tate’s Landing. Although he could do no better than fourth last time out in an allowance race at Kentucky Downs, the Jefferson will be his second start after a long layoff going back to last year, when he won the Laurel Futurity by 3 ¾ lengths at 23-1. With only five starts to his credit, Ray’s Away (15-1) has done most of his running at Woodbine, where he won the Victoria Stakes last year. The Jefferson will be his first attempt over six furlongs.

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