A field of 10 top older grass runners will go to post in the 34th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI), one of six graded stakes that will precede Saturday’s 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).
The 14-race program begins at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern) and will culminate the Derby that is scheduled for a 7:02 p.m. post time.
Other stakes are the Derby Day program are the 34th running of the $500,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Derby City Gaming (GI) for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track, the 35th running of the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) for fillies and mares, the 96th running of the 500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GII) for 3-year-olds, the 29th running of the $500,000 American Turf presented by Smithfield (GII) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass and the 39th running of the $200,000 Iroquois presented by Ford (GIII) for 2-year-olds going a mile on the main track.
Gaining Ground Racing’s Factor This, riding a four-race win streak, and Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Somelikeithotbrown, winner of the Bernard Baruch (GII) at Saratoga in his most recent start, will be the starting top weights with 124 pounds in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic that will go as the day’s 13th race with a 5:50 post time.
Trained by Brad Cox, Factor This counts the GII Wise Dan at Churchill Downs among his scores in his win streak. Shaun Bridgmohan, who has been aboard for all of those victories, has the call Saturday and will break from post one.
Siomelightithotbrown, trained by Mike Maker, has placed in four other graded stakes on turf and in his lone race over the Matt Winn Turf Course finished third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI). Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for the victory in the Baruch, has the call Saturday and will break from post position nine.
The field for the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Factor This (Bridgmohan, 124 pounds), Bowies Hero (Florent Geroux, 119), Rockemperor (IRE) (John Velazquez, 119), Digital Age (IRE) (Javier Castellano, 119), Dontblamerocket (Julien Leparoux, 119), Mr Dumas (Manny Franco, 119), True Valour (IRE) (Rafael Bejarano, 119), Sacred Life (FR) (Paco Lopez, 119), Somelikeithotbrown (Gaffalione, 124) and Spectacular Gem (James Graham, 119).
SERENGETI EMPRESS TOPS DEEP FIELD OF 10 FOR DERBY CITY DISTAFF – Joel Politi’s Serengeti Empress, the 2019 Kentucky Oaks (GI) winner who is coming off a victory in the Ballarina (GI) at Saratoga, heads a field of 10 fillies and mares in the Derby City Distaff.
The Derby City Distaff will go as Saturday’s 12th race with a 5:17 post time.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Serengeti Empress has won two of three starts at the 7-furlong distance with her lone loss coming to champion Covfefe in last year’s Test (GI). Tyler Gaffalione has the mount and will break from post position eight.
The field for the Derby City Distaff, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Mia Mischief (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118 pounds), Shesomajestic (Rafael Bejarano, 118), Wildwood’s Beauty (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Bell’s the One (Corey Lanerie, 120), Crazy Sexy Money (Crystal Conning, 118), Sally’s Curlin (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120), Lady Kate (Florent Geroux, 118), Serengeti Empress (Gaffalione, 123), Bellafina (Mike Smith, 120) and Ce Ce (John Velazquez, 123).
NEWSPAPEROFRECORD SEEKS ANOTHER HEADLINE IN CHURCHILL DISTAFF TURF MILE – Klaravich Stables’ Newspaperofrecord (IRE), winner of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI) at Churchill Downs, heads a field of eight fillies and mares for the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.
The Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile is carded as the day’s 11th race with a 4:39 post time.
Trained by Chad Brown, Newspaperofrecord returned to the races in June following an 11-month layoff to win the Intercontinental (GIII) and followed that effort up with a front-running score in the Just A Game (GI).
Javier Castellano has the mount on Newspaperofrecord and will break from post position four.
The field for the Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, with riders and weights from the inside, is: She’sonthewarpath (Chantal Sutherland, 118 pounds), Daddy Is a Legend (Florent Geroux, 118), Juliet Foxtrot (GB) (Tyler Gaffalione, 118), Newspaperofrecord (Castellano, 123), Harmless (Mike Smith, 118), Beau Recall (IRE) (Manny Franco, 118), La Signare (FR) (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118) and Belle Laura (Miguel Mena, 118).
ECHO TOWN, NO PAROLE, RUSHIE TOP FIELD OF NINE FOR PAT DAY MILE – L & N Racing’s Echo Town, Maggi Moss and Greg Tramontin’s No Parole and Jim and Donna Daniell’s Rushie head a field of nine for the Pat Day Mile.
The Pat Day Mile will go as the afternoon’s ninth race with a 3:35 post time.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Echo Town comes into Saturday’s race off a 3 ¼-length victory in the Allen Jerkens (GI) at Saratoga on Aug. 1. Ricardo Santana Jr. has the call and will break from post position two.
No Parole, winner of the Woody Stephens (GI) at Belmont before faltering as the favorite in the Allen Jerkens, is trained by Tom Amoss. James Graham, who rode No Parole to daylight victories in his first three starts, has the call Saturday and will break from post position seven.
Rushie, third in the Blue Grass (GII) and Santa Anita Derby (GI) in his past two starts, cuts back to a one-turn race for the first time since his debut last October at Santa Anita. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Rushie will be ridden by Javier Castellano and break from post position nine.
The field for the Pat Day Mile, from the rail out with riders and weights, is: Cezanne (Florent Geroux, 118 pounds), Echo Town (Ricardo Santana Jr., 123), Shashashakemeup (Corey Lanerie, 118), Vertical Threat (Tyler Gaffalione, 118), Digital (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Tap It to Win (John Velazquez, 118), No Parole (Graham, 123), Sonneman (Manny Franco, 118) and Rushie (Castellano, 118).
SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT, FIELD PASS MARQUEE NAMES IN FIELD OF EIGHT FOR AMERICAN TURF – Multiple stakes winners Field Pass and Smooth Like Strait top a field of eight entered for the American Turf Presented by Smithfield.
The American Turf is scheduled as the eighth race with a 2:55 post time.
Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass, a two-time Grade III winner, comes into Saturday’s race off a seventh-place finish in the Saratoga Derby Invitational. Prior to that, he had won the Transylvania (GIII) at Keeneland and the Audubon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Mike Maker, Field Pass will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione and break from post position four.
Cannon Thoroughbreds’ Smooth Like Strait has won his past two starts beginning with the War Chant here in May and then the La Jolla Handicap (GIII) at Del Mar. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Smooth Like Strait will break from post position five and be ridden by John Velazquez.
The field for the American Turf, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Taishan (Julien Leparoux, 118), American Butterfly (Joe Talamo, 118), Sugoi (Joe Rocco Jr., 118), Field Pass (Gaffalione, 120), Smooth Like Strait (Velazquez, 120), Sunsation (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), King Theo (Corey Lanerie, 118), Fancy Liquor (Florent Geroux, 118).
10 START ON ROAD TO 2021 KENTUCKY DERBY IN IROQUOIS – The Road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby will begin Saturday afternoon when 10 2-year-olds go to the post for the Iroquois.
The Iroquois offers 17 points toward the 2021 Run for the Roses on a 10-4-2-1 scale to the top four finishers.
Topping the entries is Stephen Fidel’s Therideofalifetime, runner-up in the Saratoga Special (GII) in his most recent start. Trained by Ignacio Correas IV, Therideofalifetime will be ridden by Florent Geroux and break from post position 10.
Also figuring to draw support is Sandin Syndicate Stable’s Pico d’Oro.
Trained by Bill Morey, Pico d’Oro won the Ellis Park Juvenile last month in his most recent start that served as his maiden-breaking score. Javier Castellano has the mount and will break from post position seven.
The field for the Iroquois, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Drop Anchor (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118 pounds), Sittin On Go (Corey Lanerie, 118), Super Stock (Ricardo Santana Jr., 120), Ultimate Badger (Joe Talamo, 118), Dreamer’s Disease (Miguel Mena, 118), Belafonte (Declan Cannon, 118), Pico d’Oro (Castellano, 120), Midnight Bourbon (Gerardo Corrales, 118), Crazy Shot (Edgar Morales, 118) and Therideofalifetime (Geroux, 118).
The Iroquois will go as Race 10 with a post of 4:07 p.m.