Ken­tuck­ian gets an­other chance

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - News - By Steve An­der­sen

AR­CA­DIA, Calif. – Once again, Ken­tuck­ian is ready for a come­back.

Once again, there are hopes the 5-year-old will have a sea­son that dis­plays the po­ten­tial owner Rick Porter and trainer Jerry Hol­len­dor­fer have ex­pected from him.

“He’s al­ways had a lot of abil­ity,” Hol­len­dor­fer said. “We’ve had this and that with him. We feel like we have him ready to run.”

Ken­tuck­ian is part of a field of six in an op­tional claimer at six fur­longs Fri­day at Santa Anita. The field also in­cludes Well Mea­sured, who was se­cond by a nose in the Cal­i­for­nia Cup Sprint on Jan. 28, and Blameiton­thelaw, who was third in the Clocker’s Cor­ner Stakes on the hill­side turf course Jan. 29.

Ken­tuck­ian has made only seven starts and has had two sig­nif­i­cant lay­offs. He was off for more than a year, from July 2015 to July 2016, and on Fri­day makes his first start since Sept. 30.

Ken­tuck­ian is jockey Mike Smith’s only booked mount on Fri­day’s eight-race card.

KEY CON­TENDERS

Ken­tuck­ian, by Tiznow Last 3 Bey­ers: 76-84-72

◗ Ken­tuck­ian did not race at 2. He started four times at 3 in 2015, win­ning his de­but by 11 lengths and the Grade 3 Laz Barrera Stakes by 6 1/4 lengths, and fin­ish­ing third in the Grade 2 Los Alami­tos Derby in July in his fi­nal start that year.

◗ Last year, Ken­tuck­ian was eighth, third, and fifth in his three races, all op­tional-claim­ing races at Del Mar or Santa Anita. Hol­len­dor­fer said he gave Ken­tuck­ian a break last fall for mi­nor ail­ments. Bet Santa Anita with DRF Bets: drf­bets.com

“I wasn’t happy with his mus­cle tone,” he said. “He had a foot prob­lem and now he’s good again.”

◗ Ken­tuck­ian, pur­chased for $610,000 as a year­ling at Keeneland in 2013, worked six fur­longs in 1:14.20 on Feb. 9 at Santa Anita.

“He had a beau­ti­ful work­out the other day,” Hol­len­dor­fer said. “We hope to get him back and run­ning, get him on the win trail.

“We need to give him an­other chance.”

Well Mea­sured, by Bench­mark Last 3 Bey­ers: 98-81-81

◗ Well Mea­sured closed well to just miss catch­ing Richard’s Boy in the Cal Cup Sprint at six fur­longs, his first start since be­ing claimed for $20,000 from an op­tional claimer for state­breds Jan. 2.

◗ Trained by Richard Bal­tas, Well Mea­sured can set the pace or race as a stalker. Lead­ing rider Flavien Prat has the mount for the first time.

Dis­tinc­tive B, by With Dis­tinc­tion Last 3 Bey­ers: 94-88-97

◗ Dis­tinc­tive B has won two of his last four starts, tak­ing a $40,000 claimer at Del Mar on Sept. 1 and an op­tional claimer at Los Alami­tos on Dec. 9. Trained by Peter Miller for Gary Har­tu­nian, Dis­tinc­tive B was se­cond to Moe Candy as the 9-5 fa­vorite in an op­tional claimer here Jan. 8.

◗ Dis­tinc­tive B has suf­fi­cient speed to be a fac­tor from the start for jockey Tyler Baze.

◗ Miller also starts Texas Two Step, who won a $32,000 claimer at 6 1/2 fur­longs on a sloppy track here Jan. 7 and drew the out­side post for this race.

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