Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider are hoping their improving homebred Sprawl can score his first stakes victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs, a race named in honor of his owners’ prized stallion Blame.
“I’m very thankful to train a horse like this who has such a high quality pedigree and is owned and bred by one of the most historic farms in the world,” trainer Tom Drury Jr. said.
Sprawl, a 4-year-old son of City Zip, was made the 3-1 co-second choice on the morning line in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Blame Stakes. He’ll be making his 14th-career start and fourth start since being transferred from trainer Bill Mott to Drury.
“We were very impressed with how well he won in his last start,” Drury said. “The timing from that allowance race set up perfectly to try him in stakes company again. Hopefully he can repeat his allowance win on Saturday.”
Sprawl recorded his third career victory May 9 at Churchill Downs with a front-running 7 ¼-length win in a 1 1/16-mile conditioned allowance event. The chestnut colt tried stakes company four times while in the care of Mott and recently finished fourth by three-quarters of a length in the $150,000 Ben Ali (Grade III) at Keeneland where he was defeated by fellow Blame rivals Silver Dust and Night Ops.
Saturday’s Blame Stakes, which will go as Race 6 with a post time of 3:18 p.m., is a prep for the $600,000 Stephen Foster (GII) on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The Stephen Foster is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Del Mar.
The Blame is one of seven stakes events on Saturday’s stellar 11-race card. The others are the $150,000 Audubon (Race 5), $150,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $150,000 Regret (GIII) (Race 8), $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) (Race 9), $150,000 Aristides (Listed) (Race 10) and $110,000 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes (Race 11). The program gets underway at 12:45 p.m.
The field for the Blame (from the rail out with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Mighty Heart (James Graham, Josie Carroll, 12-1); Sprawl (Brian Hernandez Jr., Drury, 3-1); Night Ops (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 5-2); Guest Suite (Manny Esquivel, Cipriano Contreras, 12-1); American Dubai (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro, 6-1); South Bend (Tyler Gaffalione, Bill Mott. 6-1); and Silver Dust (Adam Beschizza, Bret Calhoun, 3-1).
Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast in Louisville calls for unseasonably mild temperatures with a high near 63 degrees and mostly cloudy skies.
Churchill Downs’ admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets, starting at $5, are available on www.ChurchillDowns.com/tickets. For those outside the Louisville area, all 11 races are scheduled to be televised on Fox Sports 2 from 12:30-6 p.m. Fans can also watch the live simulcast feed and wager on www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated.
MANDATORY 20-CENT DERBY CITY 6 PAYOUT SLATED FOR SATURDAY – There will be a mandatory payout in the 20-cent Derby City 6 on Saturday at Churchill Downs with all monies distributed to ticket holders with the most winners in the six-race series.
The jackpot carryover was $97,749 at the start of Friday’s nine-race card, and provided there are no single ticket winners Friday, track officials estimate the force-out of Saturday’s total Derby City 6 pool to eclipse $500,000 with new money.
Each race in Saturday’s Derby City 6, which only costs 20 cents per combination, is a stakes race as part of Stephen Foster Preview Day. The sequence will cover Races 6-11 starting at 3:18 p.m. (all times Eastern).
The daily six-race Derby City 6 sequence has challenged bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races but the Jackpot pool only is paid if there is a single winning ticket. When multiple tickets contain six winners 90 percent of that day’s pool is paid out and 10 percent is added to the Jackpot carryover. Again, Saturday’s Derby City 6 pool will be paid to all ticket holders with the most winners in the six-race series.
Takeout on the Derby City 6 is just 15 percent, which is one of the lowest multi-race wager takeout rates in American racing.
Saturday’s sequence features the $150,000 Blame for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles (seven entries); the $150,000 Shawnee for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles (eight entries); the $150,000 Regret (Grade III) for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf (nine entries); $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles (eight entries); $150,000 Aristides for 4-year-olds and up at six furlongs (10 entries); and $110,000 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes for 4-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on turf (nine entries).
Past performances are available at www.Brisnet.com or www.ChurchillDowns.com/Handicapping. Fans can wager on the Derby City 6 at Churchill Downs; www.TwinSpires.com, the official ADW of Churchill Downs Incorporated; other online wagering outlets; and select satellite betting centers throughout North America.
Churchill Downs’ admission gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and tickets, starting at $5, are available on www.ChurchillDowns.com/tickets. The first of 11 races is 12:45 p.m. and the finale is scheduled for 5:58 p.m.
All 11 races on the Stephen Foster Preview Day card at Churchill Downs are scheduled to be televised on Fox Sports 2 from 12:30-6 p.m. as part of the “America’s Day at the Races” coverage produced by the New York Racing Association.
LANDEROS HOPING FOR STAKES SUCCESS SATURDAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – Jockey Chris Landeros has two stakes mounts in Saturday’s Stephen Foster Preview Day at Churchill Downs and is hoping to make the best of them with “live chances” in the $150,000 Audubon and $150,000 Regret (Grade III).
Landeros rides Gainseway Stable’s graded stakes placed Oyster Box in the Regret and M Racing Group’s $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) winner Like the King in the Audubon Stakes.
“We have two really nice horses in Saturday’s stakes,” Landeros said. “This will be my first time riding both of these horses in races but I worked Like the King on the grass at Churchill. He was very impressive winning the Jeff Ruby Steaks and gets over the grass at Churchill well.
“Oyster Box seems pretty tactical in her previous races. She closed well to finish third (in the Grade III Florida Oaks) and I think fits this field very well.”
Like the King was made second choice at 7-2 on the morning line odds for the Audubon while Oyster Box was tabbed at 6-1.
The full field for the Audubon from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Palazzi (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse, 7-2); Like the King (Landeros, Ward, 7-2); Cave Hill (Declan Cannon, Brendan Walsh, 10-1); Hidden Enemy (IRE) (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 4-1); Haddassah (Mitchell Murrill, Kevin Attard, 15-1); Cellist (Julien Leparoux, Rusty Arnold II, 8-1); Holy Vow (David Cabrera, John Ortiz, 10-1); and Royal Prince (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 3-1).
The field for the Regret from the inside out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Oyster Box (Landeros, Graham Motion, 6-1); Munnyfor Ro (Drayden Van Dyke, Brian Lynch, 12-1); Line Dancing (Julien Leparoux, Michael Matz, 12-1); Spanish Loveaffair (Tyler Gaffalione, Mark Casse, 5-1); Barista (James Graham, Jimmy Baker, 5-1); Postnup (Brian Hernandez Jr., Cherie DeVaux, 12-1); Gam’s Mission (Adam Beschizza, Cherie DeVaux, 5-1); Flown (Ricardo Santana Jr., Brendan Walsh, 9-2); and Saranya (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 5-1).
The Audubon (Race 5) and Regret (Race 8) are two of seven stakes events on Saturday’s Stephen Foster Preview Day program. The others are the $150,000 Blame (Race 6), $150,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII) (Race 9) and $110,000 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes (Race 11). The stellar program gets underway at 12:45 p.m.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Friday with a first post of 12:45 p.m. The races were taken off the turf due to rain showers in the Louisville area Friday morning. … There was a $97,749 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 which spanned races 4-9. … There will be a special holiday racing program on Memorial Day Monday at Churchill Downs. First post is 12:45 p.m. for the scheduled nine-race card. Entries were taken Friday. … Godolphin’s Belmont Stakes (GI) likely favorite Essential Quality is scheduled to breeze at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning prior to shipping to Belmont Park for the June 5 race. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. The one-hour radio program will get fans ready for Saturday’s Stephen Foster Preview Day at Churchill Downs with clocker John Nichols. Those outside the Louisville market can listen live on www.espnlouisville.com. ... For more information and to purchase tickets for the Spring Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.