Atigun the one to beat in Colonial Turf Cup

Atigun returned to the turf two starts back, defeating a salty group of optional claiming rivals on the Kentucky Derby undercard, and just missed with a rallying second in the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap on May 25. The Kenny McPeek-trained colt will seek his first stakes victory when he lines up for Saturday's Grade 2, $300,000 Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs.

The 2013 Colonial Turf Cup will mark the 9th edition of the Turf Cup, which serves as a prep race of sorts for the Virginia Derby. The Turf Cup, which has a Grade II ranking, is contested at the distance of 1 3/16 miles over the Secretariat Turf Course.

The stakes action kicks off with the $75,000 Da Hoss (race 5) at a mile on turf and Hudson Steele is the top draw in the seven-horse field. A Grade 2 winner last season, the six-year-old gelding will be making his first start for Pletcher since a sixth in the Grade 1 Man 'o War 11 months ago.

Special Post Time on Saturday at Colonial Downs - 5 PM (EDT)

Colonial Turf Cup Past Winners

Year Winner Time Jockey Trainer
2012 Turbo Compressor 01:55.1 Joe Bravo Todd Pletcher
2011 Rahystrada 01:54.3 Sheldon Russell Byron G. Hughes
2010 Paddy O'Prado 1:54:20 Kent J. Desormeaux Dale Romans
2009 Battle of Hastings 01:57.2 Tyler Baze Jeff Mullins
2008 Sailor's Cap 02:02.4 Alan Garcia James J. Toner
2007 Summer Doldrums 01:55.3 Jose Lezcano Richard A. Violette Jr.
2006 Showing Up 01:53.0 Cornelio Velazquez Barclay Tagg
2005 English Channel 1:56:37 John Velazquez Todd Pletcher