The Kentucky Jockey Club is the centerpiece of the closing-day “Stars of Tomorrow II” card that features races limited exclusively to 2-year-olds. First post time is 11:30 a.m. with general admission gates opening at 10 a.m. (all times Eastern).
In addition to the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club, there will be the 66th running of the $150,000-added Golden Rod (GII) for fillies at 1 1/16 miles, plus two $56,000-added overnight handicaps on the grass – the Grand Canyon at 1 1/16 miles and the Caressing at one mile for the fillies.
Also, Curlin, North America’s reigning Horse of the Year and the continent’s richest racehorse of all time with earnings of $10,501,800, will be paraded one final time at Churchill Downs between the fifth and sixth races before he is retired to stud duty in 2009. After a trip to saddling paddock, Curlin will be saluted in the winner’s circle.
Saturday’s future stars have some huge horseshoes to fill from the 2007 juvenile showcase day that produced such 2008 graded stakes winners as Anak Nakal and Pure Clan and a first-time starter named Denis of Cork who came back this year to run third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) and second in the Belmont Stakes (GI).
Julien Leparoux, who rode Anak Nakal to victory in last year’s Kentucky Jockey Club, goes for a repeat on Capt. Candyman Can for trainer Ian Wilkes. Capt. Candyman Can has won both of his dirt starts with his only setback coming in a sixth-place finish over the Polytrack at Arlington Park in the roughly run Arlington-Washington Futurity (GIII).
Capt. Candyman Can will break from post position eight and is the only stakes winner in the field for the Kentucky Jockey Club, which goes as the 11th race on the card at approximately 4:27 p.m. ET.
The field for the Kentucky Jockey Club, from the rail out: Coal Baron (Julio Garcia), Big Surf (Jesus Castanon), Beethoven (Calvin Borel), Stormalory (Kent Desormeaux), Jazzandthemagician (Miguel Mena), Zion (Shaun Bridgmohan), Brother Keith (Robby Albarado), Capt. Candyman Can (Julien Leparoux), Star of David (Jamie Theriot) and Giant Oak (Eusebio Razo Jr.). All starters will carry 122 pounds.
Eldon Farm’s Sara Louise, a 3 3/4-length winner of the Grade III Pocahontas on Nov. 1, tops a field of seven for the Golden Rod that also attracted Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI) runner-up Dream Empress.
Trained by Dale Romans, Sara Louise has won two of three career starts and will be ridden by Robby Albarado who is seeking his second victory in the Golden Rod. Sara Louise will break from post position one.
Livin the Dream Racing’s Dream Empress won the Grade I Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland prior to her Breeders’ Cup effort and the Golden Rod will mark her debut on a conventional dirt track for trainer Ken McPeek. Kent Desormeaux has the call Saturday and will break from post position three.
The Golden Rod, which goes as the ninth race on the card at 3:28 p.m. ET, also lured two other intriguing prospects: Dolphus Morrison’s Rachel Alexandra and Ron Winchell’s War Echo.
Rachel Alexandra, trained by Hal Wiggins, finished second to Sara Louise in the Pocahontas and this summer was runner-up in the Grade III Debutante. War Echo, trained by Steve Asmussen, is a half-sister to multiple graded-stakes winner Pyro and ran fourth in the Grade I Frizette in her most recent start.
The field for the Golden Rod, from the rail out: Sara Louise (Robby Albarado, 119 pounds), Super Poni (Godofredo Laurente, 119), Dream Empress (Kent Desormeaux, 119), Rachel Alexandra (Calvin Borel, 119), Dance With Daddy (Diego Rodriguez, 114), Pearl of Valor (Jesus Castanon, 119) and War Echo (Shaun Bridgmohan, 119).
Marylou Whitney Stables’ Ninth Client, trained by D. Wayne Lukas will carry high weight of 121 pounds and face 11 rivals in the Grand Canyon, which goes as the fifth race on the card at 1:28 p.m. ET. Third in the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland on Oct. 5 and most recently ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Ninth Client will be ridden by Robby Albarado and break from post position three.
The field for the Grand Canyon, from the hedge out: Rockin’ Joe (Shaun Bridgmohan, 120 pounds), Chilliness (Jamie Theriot, 115), Ninth Client (Robby Albarado, 121), Jack Spratt (Julien Leparoux, 117), Presents for Berti (Calvin Borel, 117), Smart Shot (Julio Garcia, 116), My Boy Jo (Jesus Castanon, 112), South Fork Lodge (Kent Desormeaux, 117), Relvado (Eusebio Razo Jr., 114), Tenmor (Orlando Mojica, 114), Proceed Bee (Miguel Mena, 115) and Changing Storm (Richard Monterrey, 112). On the also-eligible list are Charlie Trumper (Robby Albarado, 111), Irish Blarney (Miguel Mena, 111) and Allittakesisone (Diego Rodriguez, 110).
In the Caressing, which goes as Race 10 at 3:58 p.m. ET, Wayne Calabrese’s Sugar Mom, winner of the Kentucky Cup Juvenile at Turfway Park in September and seventh in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf in her most recent start, will tote top weight of 122 pounds and concede 2-9 pounds to seven rivals.
Trained by Wayne Catalano, Sugar Mom has three wins and two seconds from seven starts and will be ridden by E.T. Baird and break from post position two in a full field of 12.
The field for the Caressing, from the hedge out: Yo Eleven (Eusebio Razo Jr., 113 pounds), Sugar Mom (E.T. Baird, 122), Romin Robin (Orlando Mojica, 113), Seminole Lass (Julien Leparoux, 115), Trust N Seven (Rafael Hernandez, 115), Banker’s Choice (Calvin Borel, 119), Striking Dancer (Robby Albarado, 118), Devil by Design (Jesus Castanon, 114), Abbott Hall (Jamie Theriot, 120), Foxy Bailey (Kent Desormeaux, 114), War Tigress (Julio Garcia, 119) and It’s Tiffin Time (Miguel Mena, 113). On the also-eligible list is Guarda (Miguel Mena, 113).