The stables that have been the hottest of the opening two of weeks of Churchill Downs’ 42-day Spring Meet clash head-on Saturday when 2009 Iroquois Stakes (Grade III) winner Thiskyhasnolimit and Hansel Stakes winner Cool Bullet meet in Saturday’s ninth running of the $100,000-added Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.
Cathy and Bob Zollars and Mark Wagner’s Thiskyhasnolimit represents trainer Steve Asmussen, who swept the 2009 Spring and Fall Meet training titles at Churchill Downs and has collected six wins during the opening 10 days of racing to top the “leading trainer” standings. Owned by Robert and Lawanna Lowe and Winmore LLC, Cool Bullet will be saddled by Steve Margolis, who is just one back of Asmussen in search of his first training title beneath the venerable Twin Spires. Thiskyhasnolimit and Cool Bullet are the 2-1 and 5-2 top choices, respectively, in oddsmaker Mike Battaglia’s morning line odds in the Matt Winn, which attracted a field of six.
The Matt Winn, named in honor of the legendary Churchill Downs general manager and president who built both the Kentucky Derby (Grade I) and Churchill Downs into international sports icons during his 1902-1949 tenure, is scheduled as the 10th of 11 live races on a Saturday racing program that also includes the simulcast of the Preakness (GI), the second jewel of the Triple Crown. Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver heads a field of 12 in the 1 3/16-mile classic at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Post time for the day’s first race is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Thiskyhasnolimit has not raced since Nov. 28, when the son of Sky Mesa finished sixth as the favorite to Super Saver in the $150,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club (GII) at Churchill Downs. He has a record of 2-1-1 in six races – including a 2-1-0 slate in three Churchill Downs starts – with earnings of $138,149. Shaun Bridgmohan will ride.
Cool Bullet is coming off an impressive 4 ½-length victory in the $50,000 Hansel Stakes over the Polytrack surface at Turfway Park on March 27. Prior to that, the gelded son of 2000 Preakness winner Red Bullet had won the Sugar Bowl at Fair Grounds and finished a solid fourth to Ron the Greek in the $100,000 Lecomte at one mile and 40 yards at the New Orleans track. Brian Hernandez Jr. will be in the saddle.
Others in the field include C R K Stable’s Privilaged, third to D’Funnybone in the Swale (GII) at Gulfstream Park and the 3-1 third choice for trainer John Sadler. Donegal Racing’s Vow to Wager, winner of the John Battaglia Memorial via disqualification, is the 7-2 fourth choice for trainer Dale Romans.
The field for Saturday’s Matt Winn, from the rail out (with jockey, weight and morning line odds), includes: Silver Craft (Freddie Lenclud, 117, 8-1); Privilaged (Jon Court, 117, 3-1), Cool Bullet (Hernandez, 119, 5-2), Vow to Wager (Miguel Mena, 119, 7-2), Southern Danger (Corey Nakatani, 117, 15-1), and Thiskyhasnolimit (Bridgmohan, 119, 2-1).