Syndergaard Tops Field of Seven For Opening Night William Walker

Apr 26, 2017 Gary Yunt Churchill Downs Communications

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, April 26, 2017)Eric Fein, Christopher McKenna, Harris Fein, Guri Singh and Jerry Walia’s Syndergaard headlines a field of seven 3-year-olds entered Wednesday for the third running of the $100,000 William Walker, the highlight of Opening Night presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester at Churchill Downs.

Saturday’s 11-race program that begins at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern), will kick off the 38-day Spring Meet that will be highlighted by the 143rd runnings of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on May 6 and the $1 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI) on May 5.

The William Walker, contested at six furlongs on the main track, will go as the ninth race with a 10:11 p.m. post time

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Syndergaard will be making his first start since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. John Velazquez will have the mount on Syndergaard and break from post position one.

The field for the William Walker, from the rail out, is: Syndergaard (Velazquez, 118 pounds), Capture the Glory (Dick Cardenas, 118), En Hanse (Julien Leparoux, 120), The Money Monster (Jose Lezcano, 118), Classic Cotton (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Conquest Wildcat (Corey Lanerie, 118) and Silver Bullion (Florent Geroux, 118).

DEFENDING CHAMPION ATHENA SEEKS REPEAT IN ROXELANA – Also on Saturday’s program is the eighth running of the $65,000 Roxelana, an overnight stake for fillies and mares going six furlongs on the main track. Heading the field for the Roxelana, which goes as the fourth race with a 7:26 p.m. post time, is defending champion Athena.

Owned by Mary Grum and trained by Helen Pitts-Blasi, Athena won last year’s running as an 18-1 longshot. Winner of the American Beauty in January at Oaklawn, Athena will break from post position seven and be ridden by Joe Rocco Jr.

The field for the Roxelana from the rail out: Kathballu (Florent Geroux, 122 pounds), Finleysluckycharm (Brian Hernandez Jr., 122), Carolina Jasmine (Julien Leparoux, 122), Mayla (Brian Hernandez Jr., 122), Maziette (Channing Hill, 122), Pleasant Tales (Miguel Mena, 122) and Athena (Rocco Jr., 122).

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