Three Diamonds Farm’s $250,000 Jeff Ruby Steaks (GIII) winner Field Pass will move back to turf as the headliner for Saturday’s $100,000 War Chant presented by TwinSpires.com – a one-mile turf event for 3-year-olds on “Stephen Foster Preview Day” at Churchill Downs.
The War Chant is one of five stakes events on the 11-race program Saturday at Churchill Downs. First post is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the War Chant goes as the Race 11 finale at 6:16 p.m. Also on the card is the $150,000 Matt Winn (GIII), $100,000 Blame, $100,000 Shawnee and $100,000 War Chant.
Field Pass, the winner of Turfway Park’s Jeff Ruby Steaks, will shift from the synthetic Polytrack surface back to the turf in Saturday’s race. Trained by Mike Maker, Field Pass captured the March 14 Jeff Ruby Steaks by a neck over the Wesley Ward-trained Invader. The 3-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid returned to Kentucky in February following his victory in Gulfstream Park’s $100,000 Dania Beach. Jose Ortiz will have the call in the War Chant from post No. 5.
Among the top challengers to Field Pass in the War Chant are Godolphin’s speedy Hieronymus, who captured the $57,000 Randy Romero Memorial and $70,000 Black Gold at Fair Grounds; Daniel Ryan’s $100,000 Rushaway winner Vanzzy; and Cannon Thoroughbreds’ $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes winner Smooth Like Strait.
Matthew Schera’s $100,000 Kittens Joy (GIII) winner Island Commish was supplemented to the War Chant field with a $2,000 payment at the time of entries on Wednesday. Paco Lopez will ride the Saffie Joseph Jr. trainee from post 3.
The War Chant field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): South Bend (Julien Leparoux, Stanley Hough); Bodecream (Deshawn Parker, Danny Pish); Island Commish (Lopez, Joseph); Vanzzy (Kendrick Carmouche, Mike Pino); Field Pass (Ortiz, Maker); Hieronymus (Shaun Bridgmohan, Brad Cox); Bama Breeze (Corey Lanerie, Rusty Arnold); Liam’s Pride (David Cohen, Doug O’Neill); Smooth Like Strait (John Velazquez, Michael McCarthy); Shared Sense (Florent Geroux, Cox); Street Ready (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes); Pixelate (Joel Rosario, Mike Stidham); Billy Batts (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); Fenwick Station (Tyler Gaffalione, Eddie Kenneally). Natural Power (Adam Beschizza, Mark Casse) is on the also-eligible list.