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Court Vision Heads Woodford Reserve, Informed Decision Seeks Humana Distaff On Derby Undercard
IEAH Stables and Resolute Group Stables' Court Vision, earner of $1,837,430 and a three-time Grade I winner on the grass, heads a field nine entered to compete in Saturday's 24th running of the $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I) at Churchill Downs.
The Turf Classic, one of three Grade I races on the Derby Day card, will be run as the 10th race Saturday at 4:46 p.m. (all times Eastern) and immediately precede the 136th running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), which has a scheduled post time of 6:24 p.m.
Now trained by Rick Dutrow, the 5-year-old Court Vision has posted Grade I victories in 2008, 2009 and 2010. As a 3-year-old, Court Vision won the Hollywood Derby and last fall took the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland. This winter at Gulfstream Park, Court Vision was elevated to the victory via disqualification in the Gulfstream Park Turf Championship.
Robby Albarado has the mount on Court Vision, who will break from post position three and carry top weight of 124 pounds.
Among Court Vision's challengers are Blues Street and Loup Breton (IRE), a supplement to the race.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Blues Street is riding a four-race win streak that includes victories in the Fair Grounds Handicap (GIII) and the Mervin Muniz Memorial Handicap (GII). Javier Castellano has the mount on Blues Street, who will break from post position seven and carry 121 pounds.
Loup Breton, trained by Julio Canini, was supplemented to the Turf Classic at a cost of $25,000. A Group II and Group III winner in France, Loup Breton has a record of 2-1-0 in three turf races in the United States that includes a victory in the San Marcos (GII) this winter at Santa Anita.
Garrett Gomez has the call Saturday on Loup Breton who will break from post position eight and carry 121 pounds.
Other graded stakes winners on the turf in the field are WinStar Farm's Al Khali and Mike House's Battle of Hastings (GB).
The field for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, from the hedge out, is as follows: Wise River (Calvin Borel, 117 pounds), General Quarters (Rafael Bejarano, 119), Court Vision (Robby Albarado, 124), Pop Tarrt (Sal Gonzalez Jr., 117), Al Khali (Kent Desormeaux, 119), Battle of Hastings (GB) (Ramon Dominguez, 119), Blues Street (Javier Castellano, 121), Loup Breton (IRE) (Garrett Gomez, 121) and Yate's Black Cat (Julien Leparoux, 117).
The third Grade I race on the Kentucky Derby Day card is the 24th running of the $300,000-added Humana Distaff for fillies and mares ages 4 & Up at seven furlongs on the main track features the return of Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Informed Decision who won this race by three-quarters of a length last year.
The Humana Distaff, which drew a field of 10, will serve as Saturday's eighth race with a 2:59 p.m. post time.
Owned by Augustin Stable, Informed Decision made her 2010 debut at Keeneland on April 8 in the Vinery Madison (GI) behind Dr. Zic and Dubai Majesty. Both of those sprinters are in the Humana Distaff field.
Julien Leparoux will ride Informed Decision, who will break from post position three and tote the high weight of 124 pounds along with Dr. Zic.
Owned by Derby Lane Farm, James Tom, Marette Farrell and trainer Joan Scott, Dr. Zic scored a wire-to-wire 2 ½-length victory over Dubai Majesty in the Vinery Madison.
Kent Desormeaux will ride Dr. Zic, who will break from post position one.
Martin Racing Stable and Dan Morgan's Dubai Majesty dead-heated for third in last year's Humana Distaff. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Dubai Majesty will be ridden by Jamie Theriot and break from post position four under a 118-pound impost.
Two fillies that locked horns three times this winter at Gulfstream Park will be in the gate for round four in the Humana Distaff.
Joseph Sutton's Warbling, winner of the Inside Information (GII) in her most recent start on March 14, ran second in her 2010 debut behind Tom Walters' Pretty Prolific in the Sugar Swirl (GIII) and then ran third in the Hurricane Bertie (GIII) finishing six lengths ahead of Pretty Prolific.
Ramon Dominguez will have the mount on Warbling, who will break from post position two under 122 pounds for trainer Eddie Kenneally. Pretty Prolific, who was fourth in the Inside Information, is trained by Jim Baker and will be ridden Saturday by Robby Albarado and break from post position six under 120 pounds.
The field for the 24th running of the Humana Distaff, from the rail out, is as follows: Dr. Zic (Kent Desormeaux, 124 pounds), Warbling (Ramon Dominguez, 122), Informed Decision (Julien Leparoux, 124), Dubai Majesty (Jamie Theriot, 118), Double Espresso (James Graham, 118), Pretty Prolific (Robby Albarado, 120), Cassidy's Pride (Jose Lezcano, 118), Rated Fiesty (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Free Flying Soul (Mike Smith, 118) and Mona de Momma (Joel Rosario, 120).
In addition to the three Grade I races on the card, the Derby Day programs features the $250,000-added Churchill Downs Presented by International Corporation (GII) for sprinters going seven furlongs, the $200,000-added Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by American Commercial Lines (GII) for fillies and the $100,000-added Eight Belles Presented by GE Consumer & Industrial (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies going 7 ½ furlongs on the main track.
Warrior's Reward, owned by A. Stevens Miles Jr., and Eric Fein and Vic Carlson's Musket Man, who finished a nose apart in the Carter Handicap (GI) at Aqueduct on April 3, head a field of 13 for the Churchill Downs that will be run as the day's ninth race with a 3:52 p.m. post time.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, Warrior's Reward is undefeated in two starts in 2010 and is undefeated in three starts at the seven-furlong distance on dirt. Julien Leparoux has the mount on Warrior's Reward who will break from post position seven under the top weight of 124 pounds.
Musket Man, trained by Derek Ryan, finished third last year in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness (GI) before going on the shelf. He opened 2010 with a victory in the seven-furlong Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs before the nose setback in the Carter. Ramon Dominguez has the mount on Musket Man who will break from post position 12 under 118 pounds.
Also in the field is 2009 Churchill Downs winner Accredit. Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Mike Maker, Accredit will be ridden by Alan Garcia and break from post position 13 and tote 118 pounds.
The field for the 76th running of the Churchill Downs, from the rail out, is as follows: Munnings (John Velazquez, 122 pounds), Country Day (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Wall Street Wonder (Channing Hill, 118), Victory Notion (John McKee, 118), Hamazing Destiny (Terry Thompson, 118), Hull (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118), Warrior's Reward (Julien Leparoux, 124), Ventana (Garrett Gomez, 122), Atta Boy Roy (Calvin Borel, 118), Cool Coal Man (Jose Lezcano, 118), Kensei (Robby Albarado, 118), Musket Man (Ramon Dominguez, 118) and Accredit (Alan Garcia, 118).
Another defending champion from Derby Day 2009 returning on Saturday is Darley Stable's Tizaqueena in the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.
The Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, which drew a field of eight, will go as Saturday's seventh race with a post time of 2:08 p.m.
Trained by Mike Stidham, Tizaqueena is undefeated in two starts in 2010 at Fair Grounds. Garrett Gomez has the mount on Tizaqueena who will break from post position five.
Tizaqueena's task will not be an easy one as two Grade I turf winners from 2009 are in the field in Nelson McMakin's Hot Cha Cha and SF Racing's Diamondrella.
Hot Cha Cha, trained by Phil Sims, won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall and closed out 2009 with a fourth-place finish in the Mrs. Revere (GII) at Churchill Downs. She finished third in the Jenny Wiley (GII) in her 2010 debut. James Graham has the mount on Hot Cha Cha who will break from post position six.
Diamondrella, who put together a six-race win streak through parts of 2008 and 2009, won the Just A Game at Belmont Park last June and took the First Lady at Keeneland in October. Robby Albarado has the mount on Diamondrella who will break from post position seven.
The field for the 25th running of the Churchill Distaff Turf Mile, from the hedge out, is as follows: Miss Keller (IRE) (Javier Castellano), Phola (Ramon Dominguez), Fantasia (GB) (Julien Leparoux), Hooh Why (Robert Allen, Jr.), Tizaqueena (Garrett Gomez), Hot Cha Cha (James Graham), Diamondrella (GB) (Robby Albarado) and Cure for Sale (ARG) (Junior Alvarado). All starters carry 118 pounds.
Grace Stables' Hot Dixie Chick, winner of the Spinaway (GI) last September at Saratoga and a daylight winner of the Prima Donna in her 2010 debut, heads a field of seven for the Eight Belles.
The Eight Belles will be run as the day's sixth race with a 1:19 p.m. post time.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Hot Dixie Chick has won four of five career starts and will have usual pilot Robby Albarado aboard in the Eight Belles. Hot Dixie Chick will break from post position two under the top impost of 122 pounds.
The main rival to Hot Dixie Chick appears to be Westrock Stables' Decelerator, trained by D. Wayne Lukas.
Decelerator dealt Hot Dixie Chick her lone loss when they hooked up in their maiden outings at Churchill Downs last May 14. Decelerator, who will carry 120 pounds and be ridden by Terry Thompson from post position four, won the Debutante (GIII) here last summer and posted runner-up finishes in the Pocahontas (GIII) and Golden Rod (GII) here in the fall.
The field for the 55th running of the Eight Belles, from the rail out, is as follows: Buckleupbuttercup (Julien Leparoux, 118 pounds), Hot Dixie Chick (Robby Albarado, 122), Bell's Shoes (Calvin Borel, 116), Decelerator (Terry Thompson, 120), Sister Resistor (Rafael Bejarano, 116), Kantstopdancin (Tony Farina, 116) and Visavis (Shaun Bridgmohan, 116).