Gold Mark Farm’s Backtalk, an impressive debut winner, and Millsap Stables’ homebred Brassy Boy, unbeaten in two career starts, head a field of nine 2-year-olds entered for Friday’s 108th running of the Bashford Manor (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The six-furlong test on the main track will be the 10th race on Friday’s 11-race card that opens with a 2:45 p.m. (all times EDT) first post time. Post time for the Bashford Manor is 7:24 p.m.
A $250,000 purchase as a yearling, Backtalk rallied wide from off the pace to win at first asking by 2 ¾ lengths over nine rivals in a five-furlong race on June 11. Backtalk is from the second crop of foals by 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones and a half-brother to graded stakes winner Bsharpsonata.
Tom Amoss, who trained 2002 Bashford Manor winner Lone Star Sky, trains Backtalk, who tuned up for the Bashford Manor with a half-mile work in :50 on Tuesday over a fast track. Miguel Mena will ride Backtalk and break from post position five.
Brassy Boy broke his maiden for a $30,000 claiming tag going 4 ½ furlongs at Churchill Downs on May 29. He then won a five-furlong allowance test on June 11 over a strong field that included Bashford Manor rivals Soundman and Flatter Than Me.
Trained by Hal Wiggins, Brassy Boy is an Arkansas-bred by Storm and a Half out of the Dixie Brass mare Brass Doll. Brassy Boy, who worked three furlongs in :36.80 on Tuesday morning, is the fifth foal of Brass Doll and a full brother to stakes winners Brassie Prince and Doll and a Half.
Corey Lanerie, who won the 2007 Bashford Manor aboard Kodiak Kowboy, has the call on Brassy Boy, who will break from post three under top weight of 120 pounds.
Soundman, who has a record of 1-1-1 in three races, is one of two Bashford Manor contenders trained by D. Wayne Lukas, the Hall of Fame trainer who has won the Bashford Manor a record five times. Lukas will also saddle Westrock Gold.
Two other trainers with multiple Bashford Manor wins, Steve Asmussen and Todd Pletcher, will shoot for their third victories in the race. Asmussen sends out Grand Slam Andre and Pletcher will be represented by Mission Impazible.
The field for the Bashford Manor, from the rail out, is as follows: Grand Slam Andre (Shaun Bridgmohan, 118 pounds), Westrock Gold (Julien Leparoux, 118), Brassy Boy (Corey Lanerie, 120), Mission Impazible (John Velazquez, 118), Backtalk (Miguel Mena, 118), Even Wilder (Jon Court, 116), Soundman (Jamie Theriot, 118), Vito Filitto (Calvin Borel, 116) and Flatter Than Me (Robby Albarado, 118).