Today’s Churchill Downs media notes (Coady photo of Maxfield winning Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity last fall)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Thursday, May 21, 2020) – Godolphin’s Maxfield was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $150,000 Matt Winn presented by Woodford Reserve (Grade III).
“I feel like all of us have been anticipating his next start since his scratch before the Breeders’ Cup (Juvenile),” trainer Brendan Walsh said. “We always thought that his best races were ahead of him. When he debuted last year I really wasn’t even thinking about the Breeders’ Futurity if he won that race. I had thought that his best races were going to be when he turned 3-years-old or even into next year.”
Maxfield was one of the likely favorites for last year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) following his $500,000 Breeders’ Futurity (GI) victory but a minor ankle injury forced him to scratch and spend several months on the sidelines. Maxfield shipped back to Walsh’s string of horses in South Florida but once the COVID-19 pandemic struck, he was forced to switch plans for his seasonal bow.
“It would’ve been a little bit unorthodox if we were still prepping for the Derby (on the first Saturday in May),” Walsh said. “We were still going to target the Derby but we would’ve only had one race to get him qualified. Now, we have a couple of races that we can get him ready for the race in September.”
Saturday’s Matt Winn is the first race on the revised Road to the Kentucky Derby schedule and will award the Top 4 finishers points on a 50-20-10-5 scale. The Matt Winn is the featured race on Saturday’s program that has been dubbed “Stephen Foster Preview Day” and features four additional stakes events: the $100,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin (Race 8), $100,000 Blame (Race 9) and $100,000 War Chant (Race 11). First post is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the Matt Winn is slated at 5:44 p.m.
The card includes a trio of Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers along with the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot. The late Pick 5 will have a guaranteed pool of $500,000 and feature an all-stakes sequence. Free Brisnet past performances and additional handicapping information will be available at www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.
The full field for the Matt Winn from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):Mystic Guide (Brian Hernandez Jr., Mike Stidham, 15-1); Pneumatic (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 4-1); Informative (John Bisono, Uriah St. Lewis, 20-1); Celtic Striker (Manny Franco, Ray Handal, 20-1); Flap Jack (Rafael Bejarano, Jack Sisterson, 20-1); Ny Traffic (Paco Lopez, Saffie Joseph Jr., 10-1); Necker Island (Tyler Gaffalione, Stanley Hough, 15-1); Crypto Cash (Corey Lanerie, Kenny McPeek, 20-1); Shake Some Action (Javier Castellano, Brad Cox, 12-1); Maxfield (Ortiz, Walsh, 5-2); Attachment Rate (John Velazquez, Dale Romans, 4-1); and Major Fed (Joel Rosario, Greg Foley, 5-1).
SATURDAY’S LATE PICK 5 FEATURES $500,000 GUARANTEED POOL – The late 50-cent Pick 5 on Saturday will feature a $500,000 guaranteed pool with an all-stakes sequence in Races 7-11.
The stellar five-race sequence will kick-off at 4:08 p.m. and feature the $100,000 Shawnee presented by TwinSpires.com (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin presented by Woodford Reserve (Race 8), $100,000 Blame presented by Norton Healthcare (Race 9), $150,000 Matt Winn (Grade III) (Race 10), and $100,000 War Chant presented by TwinSpires.com (Race 11).
Free Brisnet past performances are available at www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.
MONEY HOPES TO REBOUND IN SATURDAY’S $100,000 BLAME – Allied Racing Stable and Spendthrift Farm’s multiple Grade III winner Mr. Money will hope to return to his top form at his “home track” of Churchill Downs in Saturday’s $100,000 Blame presented by Norton Healthcare.
Trained by Bret Calhoun and ridden by Gabriel Saez, Mr. Money finished a non-descript seventh in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) prior to his sixth-place effort in the $150,000 Oaklawn Mile – his first start as a 4-year-old.
“We are crossing off that race at Oaklawn,” Calhoun said. “I think he’s going to like it a lot better at his home track where he’s run some of his best races in the past.”
Mr. Money was made the 5-1 third choice on the morning line and will break from post No. 13.
The one-mile Blame, named after the 2010 Eclipse Award-winning older horse, is set for Race 9 with a post time of 5:12 p.m. (all times Eastern). First post Saturday is 1 p.m. Dubbed as “Stephen Foster Preview Day,” Saturday’s 11-race program features a quintet of stakes events: the $100,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $100,000 Tepin (Race 8), $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) (Race 10) and $100,000 War Chant (Race 11).
The 3-1 morning line favorite in the Blame is Rupp Racing’s three-time Grade III winnerOwendale who is set for his return following nearly six months on the sidelines. Trained by Brad Cox, Owendale will cut back in distance to one-turn for the first time since Sept. 2, 2018. Florent Geroux has the call from post 8.
The complete field for the Blame (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Long Range Toddy(Jon Court, Dallas Stewart, 20-1); Bourbon Resolution (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 30-1); Global Campaign (Stanley Hough, Jose Ortiz, 9-2); Alwaysmining (Manny Franco, Kelly Rubley, 20-1);Everfast (Joel Rosario, Jack Sisterson, 30-1); Backyard Heaven (Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Maker, 6-1); Silver Dust (Adam Beschizza, Bret Calhoun, 8-1); Owendale (Geroux, Cox, 3-1); Extraordinary Jerry(Javier Castellano, Dermot Magner, 12-1); Snapper Sinclair (Julien Leparoux, Steve Asmussen, 15-1); American Anthem (David Cohen, Danny Gargan, 15-1); Discreet Lover (John Bisono, St. Lewis, 30-1); Mr. Money (Saez, Calhoun, 5-1); and Diamond King (Kendrick Carmouche, John Servis, 10-1).
ALABAMA WINNER DUNBAR ROAD MADE 4-5 FAVORITE IN $100,000 SHAWNEE – Peter Brant’s Grade I-winning filly Dunbar Road was made the 4-5 morning line favorite for her seasonal debut in Saturday’s $100,000 Shawnee presented by TwinSpires.com – part of ‘Stephen Foster Preview Day’ at Churchill Downs.
Dunbar Road, winner of last year’s $600,000 Alabama (GI) at Saratoga, arrived May 14 at Churchill Downs with trainer Chad Brown’s string of horses. She got her first look at Churchill Downs with a half-mile move Sunday in :48 with stablemate Royal Flag.
Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile Shawnee was carded as the kickoff leg to the $500,000-guarenteed All-Stakes Late Pick 5 in Race 7 with a post time of 4:08 p.m. (all times Eastern). Other stakes races on the program are the $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII), $100,000 Blame, $100,000 Tepin and $100,000 War Chant.
Chief among Dunbar Road’s rivals in the Shawnee is Bradley Thoroughbreds, Tim and Anna Cambron, Denali Stud, Rigney Racing and Madaket Stable’s $500,000 La Troienne (GI) winner She’s a Julie. Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., She’s a Julie was made the 2-1 second choice on the morning line odds.
The complete field for the Shawnee from the inside out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Moonlit Garden (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse, 15-1); Chocolate Kisses (Declan Carroll, Casse, 15-1); Awe Emma (Jon Court, Dallas Stewart, 12-1); Dunbar Road (Ortiz, Brown, 4-5); Another Broad(John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 10-1); Vault (Joel Rosario, Brad Cox, 10-1); Flower Party (IRE) (Shaun Bridgmohan, Mike Stidham, 30-1); and She’s A Julie (Santana, Asmussen, 2-1).
SHARING, ALMS MADE 3-1 CO-FAVORITES IN TEPIN; FIELD PASS 4-1 FAVORITE IN WAR CHANT – Three-year-old turf specialists will be featured Saturday in both the $100,000 Tepinpresented by Woodford Reserve and $100,000 War Chant presented by TwinSpires.com.
In the Tepin, for 3-year-old fillies, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GII) winner Sharing was made the 3-1 co-morning line favorite with undefeated Alms. Meanwhile, its counterpart, the War Chant for 3-year-olds, $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) winner Field Pass was made the lukewarm 4-1 choice on the morning line.
The Tepin, carded as Race 8 with a post time of 4:40 p.m. (all times Eastern), is a likely steppingstone to the $100,000 Regret (GIII) on Saturday, June 27 at Churchill Downs. The War Chant will go as Race 11 at 6:16 p.m. and will serve as a preview to the June 20, $100,000 Audubon.
Sharing, a Maryland-bred daughter of Speightstown, has not been seen since her 1 ¼-length score in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI) at Santa Anita. Trained by Graham Motion, Sharing’s only blemish in her four-race career was a narrow third-place effort in her debut. Following the Breeders’ Cup, Sharing was given a break but returned to Motion’s Fair Hill training center in March and has been consistently working toward her sophomore debut.
Alms, trained by Mike Stidham, Alms is a perfect 4-for-4 in her career, including stakes victories in the $150,000 Matron Stakes (GIII), $100,000 Jimmy Durante (GIII) and $60,000 Shantel LanerieMemorial Overnight Stakes. Paco Lopez will be aboard Alms in the Tepin from post 14
The complete field for the Tepin Stakes from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Oxum Power (Joseph Ramos, Paulo Lobo, 50-1); Abscond (Tyler Gaffalione, Eddie Kenneally, 8-1); Walk in Marrakesh (IRE) (Jose Ortiz, Ignacio Correas IV, 10-1); Dominga (Shaun Bridgmohan, Brad Cox, 15-1); Hendy Woods (Declan Carroll, Mark Casse, 12-1); In Good Spirits (Miguel Mena, Al Stall Jr., 15-1); Outburst (Javier Castellano, Kenneally, 5-1); Jezebel’s Kitten (Florent Geroux, Cox, 15-1); Sharing (Franco, Motion, 3-1); Pass the Plate (Julien Leparoux, Paul McGee, 20-1); Heir of Light (JoseLezcano, Norm Casse, 30-1); Moral Reasoning (Joel Rosario, Chad Brown, 12-1); Queen of God (JoeTalamo, Mike Maker, 30-1); and Alms (Lopez, Stidham, 3-1). Eye of War (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 12-1) is on the also-eligible list.
Field Pass, the winner of Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks, will shift from the Polytrack surface back to the turf in Saturday’s race. Trained by Mike Maker, Field Pass captured the March 14 Jeff Ruby Steaks by a neck over the Wesley Ward-trained Invader. The 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid returned to Kentucky in February following his victory in Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 Dania Beach. Jose Ortiz will have the call in the War Chant from post No. 5.
The War Chant field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): South Bend(Julien Leparoux, Stanley Hough, 12-1); Bodecream (Deshawn Parker, Danny Pish, 12-1); Island Commish (Paco Lopez, Saffie Joseph Jr., 12-1); Vanzzy (Kendrick Carmouche, Mike Pino, 20-1); Field Pass (Ortiz, Maker, 4-1); Hieronymus (Shaun Bridgmohan, Brad Cox, 9-2); Bama Breeze (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold, 30-1); Liam’s Pride (David Cohen, Doug O’Neill, 30-1); Smooth Like Strait (John Velazquez, Michael McCarthy, 5-1); Shared Sense (Florent Geroux, Cox, 15-1); Street Ready (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes, 15-1); Pixelate (Joel Rosario, Mike Stidham, 6-1); Billy Batts (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 5-1); Fenwick Station (Tyler Gaffalione, Eddie Kenneally, 50-1). Natural Power(Adam Beschizza, Mark Casse, 15-1) is on the also-eligible list.
DOWN THE STRETCH – There is a $71,805 carryover in Thursday’s 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot. The sequence will span Races 5-10. … Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott began Thursday’s card at Churchill Downs eight wins away from 5,000 career victories. He has two scheduled starters today – one at Churchill Downs and one at Gulfstream Park. … Trainer Dale Romans held a seven-win margin over SteveAsmussen in the all-time leading trainer standings 737-730 wins. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The one-hour horse racing program is hosted by Churchill Downs Racetrack’s Darren Rogers and Kevin Kerstein along with BetAmerica and TwinSpires.com racing analyst Scott Shapiro. Those outside the Louisville area can listen live on www.espnlouisville.com.