Juddmonte Farms’ Fame and Power and Ackerley Brothers Farm’s Bold Conquest, who ran one-two in the Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness undercard at Pimlico, will meet again Saturday in the 18th running of the $100,000 Matt Winn (GIII), a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.
Fame and Power broke his maiden at Santa Anita in March going seven furlongs before running third behind Lael Stables’ Divining Rod and Regis Racing’s Donworth in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (GIII) at Keeneland on April 11. The son of First Defence returned emphatically a month later to easily beat Bold Conquest by three lengths in the Sir Barton with Donworth a nose back in third.
Fame and Power’s Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert looks to extend his record number of victories in the Matt Winn to five. He won the race (formerly known as the Northern Dancer from its inaugural running in 1998 through 2011) with Shot of Gold (1998), Forestry (1999), Danthebluegrassman (2002) and Code West (2012).
Victor Espinoza will take the reins on Fame and Power, who boasts a record of 7-2-2-1—$145,610. He’ll break from post five in the field of eight and was made the 6-5 morning line favorite by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.
Bold Conquest was on the Derby trail earlier in the year having run against American Pharoah in the Rebel Stakes (GII) and Arkansas Derby (GI) at Oaklawn Park. The son of Curlin ran third and fourth, respectively, behind the eventual Triple Crown winner in those two races prior to his runner-up effort behind Fame and Power. His only other start at Churchill Downs was a second behind stablemate Lucky Player in the Iroquois (GIII) last September. Trainer Steve Asmussen has won the Matt Winn three times: Compendium (2001), Pyro (2008) and Tapiture (2014).
Also entered to compete in the Matt Winn is Holy Cow Stables’ Henry Jones, fourth in the Sir Barton for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. The son of Temple City broke his maiden at Churchill Downs last September going seven furlongs.
The only other horse in the field with a victory over the Churchill Downs main track is Six Column Stables’, Randall Bloch, John Seiler, and David Hall’s Island Town who is coming off of a victory in a seven-furlong allowance optional claiming event on Kentucky Derby Day. Last October, the son of Hard Spun broke his maiden at Churchill beating Danzig Moon, who was fifth in this year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Rounding out the Matt Winn are Godolphin Racing’s Alabaster; coming off a fourth-place finish in an allowance race at Arlington International last week, Harlow Stables’ Phenomenal Phoenix, third last time out in the Illinois Derby (GIII) at Hawthorne on April 18 and will be making his first start for his owners and new trainer Ron Moquett, and Mellon Patch, Inc.’s Private Prospect who was a well-beaten sixth last time out in the Illinois Derby (GIII) on April 18 for trainer Michael Campbell.
The Matt Winn field from the rail out (with jockey and morning line odds): Phenomenal Phoenix (Joel Rosario, 8-1); Island Town (Julien Leparoux, 6-1); Nileator (Javier Castellano, 8-1); Private Prospect (Channing Hill, 20-1); Fame and Power (Espinoza, 6-5); Henry Jones (Mike Smith, 12-1); Bold Conquest (Ricardo Santana Jr., 5-2); and Alabaster (James Graham, 15-1).
The Matt Winn is scheduled as Race 9 at 10:13 p.m. on Churchill Downs’ 11-race “Downs After Dark” card.