February 2, 2023

Fulsome back running two turns in Fayette

Fulsome
Fulsome, with Florent Geroux up, wins the Matt Winn Stakes (Photo by Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

Despite getting a fast pace to chase, multiple graded stakes winner Fulsome never threatened earlier this month in the Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs, which was contested over a one-turn mile. A Juddmonte homebred, Fulsome might prove better suited to the two-turn trip he will navigate in Saturday’s $350,000 Fayette S. (G2), one of three stakes on a 10-raced card that concludes Keeneland’s fall meet.

There is much to recommend the Brad Cox-trained Fulsome based on his prior two-turn form, which includes stakes wins this season in the Oaklawn Mile (G3) and West Virginia Governor’s (G3). The son of Into Mischief is also 1-for-1 over the Keeneland strip, having captured a first-level allowance by more than three lengths during the 2021 spring meet.

First Captain shortens up a bit off recent losses over 1 1/4 miles in the Suburban (G2) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). However, the son of Curlin placed in both, and overcome a slow pace to win the Pimlico Special (G3) back in May.

King Fury, the well-beaten favorite in last year’s Fayette, enters off a third-place finish behind the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)-bound pair of Hot Rod Charlie and Rich Strike in the Lukas Classic (G2), while Oaklawn H. (G2) upsetter Last Samurai looks to steady the ship after finishing unplaced in two of his last three starts.

The field of six is rounded out by West Will Power, who has run first or second in nine of 11 starts, and Fair Grounds partisan Chess Chief.

Classic Causeway, the Belmont Derby (G1) and Tampa Bay Derby (G2) winner, returns to the three-year-old ranks for the $300,000 Bryan Station S. (G3) over one mile on the turf. The Kenny McPeek trainee made little impact earlier in the meet facing older in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) finishing seventh after failing to show his customary speed.

Also among the full field are Ready to Purrform and Wit, one-two in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame (G2) at Saratoga in early August. Ready to Purrform finished sixth in the Dueling Grounds Derby (G3) at Kentucky Downs in the interim, while Wit landed the restricted Better Talk Now S. later in the Saratoga meet.

The first stakes offering of the day is $200,000 Bowman Mill S., a six-furlong dash for two-year-olds. Super Chow and Hurricane J step up in class off allowance wins, while Raise Cain enters off a dominating win against maiden foes going seven furlongs earlier in the meet. Sir Lancelot, meanwhile, is 2-for-2 after a devastating romp in the Fitz Dixon Memorial at Presque Isle Downs.