The featured $50,000 New Kent Stakes, to be contested at seven furlongs, has attracted eight 2-year-olds, including an undefeated Maryland colt ridden by that state's hottest jockey. Storm Punch is 2- for-2 in his brief career, winning a $55,000, 6-furlong stakes at Maryland's Laurel Park in his last outing Aug. 9. Edgar Prado, runaway winner of the jockey standings at Laurel's recently completed meet, is scheduled to be aboard Storm Punch again today.
The $30,000 Daniel G. Van Clief Stakes for Virginia breds, run at a mile and one-sixteenth, is named for the late five-time president of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. Van Clief, whose son is president of the Breeders' Cup, was among the partners who bred Natalma, the dam of Northern Dancer, who became one of the most influential sires in history.