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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Cloudy's Knight Headlines Sycamore

The average age of the marquee names does not quite equal the number of furlongs the field will travel over Keeneland's turf course, which is 12, but experience does figure to rule in Thursday's $100,000 Sycamore S. (G3).


PRESIOUS PASSION (Royal Anthem), the seven-year-old, two-time United Nations S. (G1) winner, scratched from the Knickerbocker S. (G3) this past Sunday due to soft conditions and will be taking his first lap around the local sod. The speedy gelding, winless in three outings since the February 28 Mac Diarmida S. (G2), should have no trouble leading this pack from the start, but will be running over a course that is not as typically speed-friendly as the firmer courses he's been accustomed to winning over in New Jersey, Florida and California.


CLOUDY'S KNIGHT (Lord Avie), age 10, did not re-work the miracle in the September 11 Kentucky Cup Turf (G3) that he did in the same race 12 months earlier, which he won following a year-long break. The spell leading into the latest renewal was more than eight months, but the chestnut wound up a second, 6 1/4 lengths behind REZIF (Distant View), after making a middle move. Nonetheless, Cloudy's Knight has never been out of the exacta since moving to the Jonathan Sheppard barn, and won the 2009 Sycamore by a head over Winchester (Theatrical [Ire]), hero this year of the Manhattan H. (G1) and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1).

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