Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) winner and champion 3-year-old filly Untapable, Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) winner and Horse of the Year finalist Bayern and Belmont Stakes (GI) winners Palace Malice and Tonalist top a large and highly accomplished roster of racing stars nominated to 10 stakes races scheduled during the April 25-May 2 Kentucky Derby Week celebration at Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”).
Nominations for the 141st running of the $2 million-guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI), the $1 million-guaranteed Longines Kentucky Oaks and $500,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (GI) were announced earlier. The roster of other Derby Week stakes events for the week also includes the renamed $200,000 Pat Day Mile Presented by LG&E and KU (GIII), a Derby Day race named for the Hall of Fame jockey Day and previously known as the Derby Trial, and the $100,000 William Walker, a new six-furlong race for 3-year-olds named for African-American jockey and 1877 Kentucky Derby winner William “Billy” Walker set for the April 25 “Opening Night” that launches Kentucky Derby Week and the 2015 Spring Meet.
Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC’s Untapable, who won the 2014 Longines Kentucky Oaks during a championship campaign that included four Grade I victories and concluded with a triumph in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI) at Santa Anita, heads 22 fillies and mares ages 4 and up nominated to compete in the 30th running of the $300,000 La Troienne, one of five Grade I events on the Derby Week schedule. Untapable scored the first victory of her 4-year-old season last week with a 2 ½-length triumph in the Apple Blossom Handicap (GI) at Oaklawn Park. The Steve Asmussen-trained champion had been upset by Pin Oak Stables LLC’s fellow La Troienne nominee Gold Medal Dancer in her 2015 debut in Oaklawn’s Azeri (GII).
The 1 1/8-mile La Troienne, one of six stakes races that will be run on the Kentucky Oaks Day program on May 1, attracted other accomplished nominees that include Barry Schwartz’s Madison (GI) winner Princess Violet; Town and Country Farms’ Alabama (GI) and Coaching Club American Oaks (GI) winner Stopchargingmaria; Harold Queen’s Royal Delta (GII) winner Sheer Drama; Bobby Flay’s Sunshine Millions Distaff winner Dame Dorothy; G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Falls City (GII) winner Frivolous; Bill Cubbedge’s Fleur De Lis (GII) and Chilukki (GII) winner Molly Morgan; John Clay’s Kentucky Oaks runner-up and Gazelle (GII) winner My Miss Sophia; and James B. Tafel LLC’s Indiana Oaks (GIII) winner Tiz Windy.
Untapable, a homebred daughter of Tapit, has a career record of 9-1-1 in 13 races with earnings of $3,416,725.
Kaleem Shah Inc.’s Bayern heads the rosters of nominees to both the 81st running of the $500,000 Churchill Downs, a Grade II Kentucky Derby Day race at seven furlongs for 4-year-olds and up, and the 12th running of the $400,000 Alysheba (GII), a 1 1/16-mile race on Kentucky Oaks Day for 4-year-olds and up named in honor of the 1987 Kentucky Derby winner and 1988 Horse of the Year. The Bob Baffert-trained son of Offlee Wild completed 2014 with a victory over Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome and previously unbeaten Shared Belief in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. His 2014 victories also included the Haskell Invitational (GI) at Monmouth Park, the Pennsylvania Derby (GII) at Parx and the Woody Stephens (GII) at Belmont Park. He finished first in Churchill Downs’ Derby Trial, but was disqualified by track stewards and placed second for interference.
Bayern, a finalist with eventual winner California Chrome and Shared Belief for the Eclipse Award for 2014’s Horse of the Year, has a record of 6-1-1 in 10 races with career earnings of 4,389,680.
Also nominated to both the Churchill Downs and Alysheba is Dogwood Stable’s 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, a son of two-time horse of the Year Curlin who won the Metropolitan Handicap (GI), Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII), New OrleansHandicap (GII) and Westchester Handicap (GIII) for trainer Todd Pletcher in 2014. Also on the roster of Alysheba nominees is Robert S. Evans’ Tonalist, whose victory in the 2014 Belmont Stakes ended California Chrome’s bid for a Triple Crown. The Christophe Clement-trained son of Tapit also won the Jockey Club Gold Cup (GI) and Peter Pan (GII) during his 3-year-old season.
A total of 27 nominations to the Churchill Downs also includes Cigar Mile (GI) winner Private Zone; Kings Bishop (GI) winner The Big Beast; Amsterdam (GII) winner Coup de Grace; Gulfstream Park Sprint (GIII) winner C. Zee; Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI) third-place finisher Gentleman’s Bet; and 2013 Ack Ack (GIII) winner Pants on Fire.
Bayern, Palace Malice and Tonalist head the star-studded list of 48 nominees to the Alysheba that also includes Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) winner Hoppertunity; Wood Memorial (GI) and Jim Dandy (GII) winner Wicked Strong; the Shug McGaughey-trained Gulfstream Park Handicap (GII) and 2013 Remsen (GII) winner Honor Code; Hollywood Gold Cup (GI) winner Majestic Harbor; Whitney (GI) winner Moreno; Belmont Stakes runner-up and Skip Away (GIII) winner Commissioner; 2012 Ack Ack (GIII) winner Neck ‘n Neck; Preakness (GI) runner-up Ride On Curlin; Ben Ali (GIII) winner Protonico; and Matt Winn (GIII) victor Tapiture.
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI) winner Judy the Beauty heads an elite roster of fillies and mares ages 4 and up made eligible to compete in the 29th running of the $300,000 Humana Distaff (GI) at seven-furlongs on Kentucky Derby Day. The 4-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper is owned and trained by Wesley Ward and her 2014 wins also included Keeneland’s Madison (GI), Santa Anita’s Las Flores (GIII) and the Rancho Bernardo (GIII) at Del Mar. Judy the Beauty ran fourth to Midnight Lucky in last year’s Humana Distaff and has a career record of 9-7-1 in 18 races with earnings of $1,662,122.
The roster of 26 fillies and mares eligible to run in the Humana Distaff also includes La Troinne nominees Dame Dorothy, Gold Medal Dancer, My Miss Sophia, Princess Violet and Stopchargingmaria. Others include Treadway Racing Stable’s Test (GI) winner Sweet Reason; Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Dogwood (GIII) winner Thank You Marylou; On Cloud Nine Stable’s 2014 Fantasy (GIII) winner Sugar Shock; Ashbrook Farm’s Winning Colors (GIII) winner Southern Honey; and Southern Equine Stable LLC’s and Whispering Oak Farm LLC’s Victory Ride (GIII) winner Street Story.
Other Breeders’ Cup heroes nominated to Derby Week Stakes races include the winners of the event’s turf races for 2-year-olds. Sheep Pond Partners’ Lady Eli, unbeaten winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI), heads 53 3-year-old fillies eligible to compete in the 30th running of the $150,000 Edgewood Presented by Forcht Bank (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day, and Ken Donworth, Ben McElroy and Wesley Ward’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) winner Hootenanny, one of 51 3-year-olds nominated to the 24th running of the $250,000 American Turf Presented by Ram Trucks (GII) on Derby Day.
The Chad Brown-trained Lady Eli, who won her 3-year-old debut on Sunday in Keeneland’s Appalachian (GIII), is joined on the roster of Edgewood nominees by Ten Broeck Farm’s Sunset Glow, the Wesley Ward-trained runner-up in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Ward also has nominated Hat Creek Racing and Gatewood Bell’s Spanish Pipedream, winner of the Cincinnati Trophy Stakes on synthetic Polytrack at Turfway Park. Other nominees include Appalachian runner-up Miss Temple City; Bourbonette Oaks (GIII) winner Don’t Leave Me; Sweetest Chant (GIII) winner Consumer Credit; Florida Oaks (GIII) winner Quality Rocks; Sanibel Island winner Celestine; and LaCombe Memorial winner Mizz Money.
The Ward-trained Hootenanny is joined on the list of American Turf nominees by Palm Beach (GIII) winner Eh Cumpari; Cecil B. Demille (GIII) winner and Cincinnati Spiral (GIII) runner-up Conquest Typhoon; John Battaglia Memorial winner Royal Son; and Pasadena winner Pappacoolpappacool.
Sixty-one 3-year-olds nominated to the Pat Day Mile include the Todd Pletcher-trained duo of unbeaten Hopeful (GI) winner Competitive Edge, who returned from a layoff with an 8 ¼-length romp in Gulfstream Park’s Tamarac, and Blofeld, unbeaten winner of the Belmont Futurity (GII) and Aqueduct’s Nashua (GII). Others include Bay Shore (GII) winner March; San Vicente (GII) winner and Bay Shore runner-up Lord Nelson; Southwest (GIII) runner-up The Truth Or Else; Iroquois (GIII) runner-up Bold Conquest; Coolmore Lexington (GIII) runner-up Donworth; Gotham (GIII) runner-up Tiz Shea D; and Echo Eddie winner Gimme Da Lute.
Amerman Racing Stables LLC’s defending winner Coffee Clique tops 39 fillies and mares 4-years-old and up made eligible to compete in the 30th running of the $300,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Presented by Longines (GII) on Kentucky Derby Day. Trainer Bryan Lynch’s 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro also won Saratoga’s Just A Game (GI) in 2014 and was third to fellow nominees Lady Lara (IRE) and Sandiva (IRE) in her 2015 debut in the recent Honey Fox (GII) at Gulfstream Park. Other nominees include Del Mar Oaks (GI) winner Personal Diary; Jenny Wiley (GI) winner Hard Not to Like; Cardinal (GIII) winner Strike Charmer; Modesty (GIII) winner I’m Already Sexy; Arlington Classic (GI) winner Istanford; Dance Smartly (GII) winner Overheard; Edgewood winner A Little Bit Sassy; Goldikova (GII) winner Filimbi; Matriarch (GI) third-place finisher Discreet Marq; and Bayou winner Eden Prairie.
The 21st running of the $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (GIII) on Kentucky Oaks Day drew 31 nominations that include John Menary and Gail Cox’s Something Extra, Rigney Racing LLC’s Channel Marker and Wes Welker’s Undrafted – the 1-2-3 finishers in Keeneland’s recent Shakertown (GIII). Also nominated is Vinery Stables’ veteran Regally Ready, who won the five-furlong turf race in 2011 and took the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (GII) later that year, and Team Valor International’s Speechify, winner of the Mr. Prospector (GIII) at Gulfstream Park.
The $100,000 William Walker, which kicks off the Kentucky Derby Week and Spring Meet Stakes schedule on Saturday, April 25, attracted 27 3-year-old nominees for its inaugural running. The Pletcher-trained Blofeld, a two-time Grade II winner also nominated to the Pat Day Mile, is the most accomplished of nominated horses.
Others nominated to the six-furlong race include the Steve Asmussen-trained duo of Holy Boss, winner of Oaklawn Park’s Bachelor, and Cinco Charlie, winner of Churchill Downs’ Bashford Manor (GIII) and stakes races at Laurel Park, Delaware Park, Fair Grounds and Sunland Park.
A complete list of nominations can be found online at: http://www.churchilldowns.com/horsemen/stakes-nominations.