A field of nine have been entered for this Friday night’s Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup, and to suggest that the Cup is overflowing with talent would be an understatement. Cumulatively, the nine of them have banked nearly $5 million and have eight graded victories amongst them.

One of those contesting the $300,000 Meadowlands Cup is last year’s Cup runner-up, Anak Nakal. The Victory Gallop colt has earned nearly $1 million in his career and will be making his first start since the $6 million Dubai World Cup in March. He’s been working bullets at Aqueduct in preparation for the Cup as he looks to score his third Grade 2 win.

Another who will likely be taking lots of action at the windows is the Marty Wolfson-trained It’s a Bird, who has earned over $1 million and sports a record of 10-4-2 from 32 outings. Last out he was fifth in the Woodward at Saratoga, beaten 10 ¾ lengths by Horse of the Year favorite Rachel Alexandra.

The Meadowlands Cup has also drawn an interesting colt that will bear a lot of watching in Etched. The Darley owned, Kiaran McLaughlin trained son of Forestry from the Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Unbridled Elaine, sports four wins in five outings, his lone loss coming in Dubai this past February. He enters the Cup off a win at the Spa.

And then there’s Kiss the Kid. He’s Grade 1 placed on dirt, a graded winner on turf and will be making his final career start in this year’s Meadowlands Cup.

“This is definitely his last start,” said Amy Tarrant, who owns and trains the son of Lemon Drop Kid. “I thought the Cliff Hanger (Oct. 3 at the Meadowlands) would have been his last start, but he came out of that race in great shape, we’re not leaving for Florida until the 28th of this month, and I decided to give him one more shot.”

Three of Kiss the Kid’s lifetime wins have come at the Meadowlands and the surface switch from turf to dirt should prove no problem.

“He runs on anything,” Tarrant said. “He’s such a versatile horse. We’re going to miss him around the barn, but it’s time. This race made sense and he’s got plenty of time to rest and flirt with girls after this.”

Following his mile and an eighth journey in the Meadowlands Cup, Kiss the Kid will enter stud at Journeyman Farm in Ocala, Fla. He will join his former stablemate Indy Wind as a Florida stallion.

Kiss the Kid has earned $676,267 in a career that has spanned four seasons. A third place finish or better in the Cup will boost his lifetime bankroll over the $700,000 mark.

The entire field for the Meadowlands Cup, which will go as race eight on a ten race card is:

1. Anak Nakal (Edgar Prado)
2. Cool Coal Man (John Velazquez)
3. Kiss the Kid (Paco Lopez)
4. Racketeer (David Cohen)
5. Good and Lucky (Joe Bravo)
6. It’s a Bird (Julien Leparoux)
7. Solar Flare (Ramon Dominguez)
8. Great Debater (Rudy Rodriguez)
9. Etched (Alan Garcia)