Magdalena Racing and Diamond M StablesWar Dancer, winner of the 2013 Virginia Derby (Grade II) and runner-up in last month’s Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland, is the 118-pound starting high weight in a field of eight older horses that were entered for Saturday’s 77th running of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

The Louisville Handicap, a 1 ½-mile marathon over the Matt Winn Turf Course, will be run as the final race on a 10-race program at approximately 5:20 p.m. EDT. First post Saturday is 12:45 p.m. EDT.

Conditioned by two-time Louisville Handicap-winning trainer Kenny McPeek, War Dancer has banked $475,443 from three wins, three seconds and a third in 12 starts. The 4-year-old War Front colt, who had the lead in the $250,000 Elkhorn with an eighth of a mile to go only to be caught in the final yards by Unitarian, will break from post position two under Alan Garcia.

Stella Perdomo’s Forte Dei Marmi-GB, who’ll break from the rail under Calvin Borel and 117 pounds, has won more races and money than any Louisville Handicap entrant. The 8-year-old gelding was a winner of three consecutive graded stakes in Canada last summer for trainer Roger Attfield including the Grade I Northern Dancer, and boasts a career record of 35-10-1-5—$1,038,072 since his debut in August 2008.

Team Block’s Chicago-based Suntracer, a three-time stakes winner conditioned by Chris Block, also will carry 117 pounds while breaking from post six under four-time Louisville Handicap-winning jockey Robby Albarado. The 6-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy seeks his first win since October 2012 when he took the $100,000 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap at Hawthorne. Overall, the Illinois-bred’s record is 31-6-6-3—$577,087.

Suntracer and Forte Dei Marmi-GB were most recently fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Elkhorn, which, like the Louisville Handicap, was run over 1 ½ miles on grass.

The Louisville Handicap field from the rail out (with jockeys and assigned weight): Forte Dei Marmi-GB (Borel, 117 pounds); War Dancer (Garcia, 118); Moro Tap (Rosie Napravnik, 114); Perfect Timber (Jesus Castanon, 114); Tattenham (Shaun Bridgmohan, 115); Suntracer (Albarado, 117); Formidable Heart (Ricardo Santana Jr., 114); and Star Channel (Corey Lanerie, 115). Formidable Heart will race with blinkers for the first time.

Sign up for race updates, wagering tips, and inside news

Thank you to our sponsor