Flurry Racing Stables’ Mr. Misunderstood will attempt to remain unbeaten on turf as he headlines a field of eight 3-year-olds in Saturday’s 14th running of the $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The 1 1/16-mile turf event will go as Race 10 on Saturday’s 11-race program with a scheduled post time of 5:36 p.m. (all times Eastern). The first race is 1 p.m.
Trained by Brad Cox, Mr. Misunderstood was victorious by 2 ¾ lengths in the $100,000 Jefferson Cup on Sept. 30 at Churchill Downs as the 6-5 favorite. The 3-year-old gelded son of Archarcharch is perfect in six starts on the turf including his last three in ungraded stakes, and boasts an overall record of 11-7-1-0—$304,554. This summer, he also won the Prelude and Super Derby at Louisiana Downs.
“He’s turned into a very nice horse on the turf,” assistant trainer Jorje Abrego said. “I breezed him the (Saturday) morning and he did everything easily (four furlongs in :47.60). I don’t know if he’s the type of horse to jump up into Grade Is yet but if we keep spotting him right he’ll pick up solid paydays.”
Mr. Misunderstood drew post 6 and jockey Florent Geroux has the return call to ride.
Chief among Mr. Misunderstood’s rivals is Jefferson Cup third-place finisher Giant Payday (13-3-4-2—$248,020), owned by Lothenbach Stables Inc. One of two entered in the Commonwealth Turf for trainer Ian Wilkes, the 3-year-old Giant’s Causeway colt prevailed two starts ago in Canterbury Park’s $200,000 Mystic Lake Derby. Wilkes’ son-in-law Chris Landeros has the call while Joe Rocco Jr. will ride stable mate Mr Cub (7-2-1-0—$133,807) following a fifth-place effort in the Jefferson Cup.
New to Kentucky is Chiefswood Stables’ Canada-based Tiz a Slam. The Roger Attfield-trainee was the 3 ¼-length winner in the $125,000 Ontario Derby (GIII) on Oct. 15 at Woodbine. A 3-year-old son of Tiznow, Tiz a Slam enters the Commonwealth Turf with a record of 11-4-2-0—$469,147, including a pair of victories on turf. Jockey Robby Albarado has the mount.
Upset Hawthorne Derby winner My Bariley (13-3-3-2—$159,119); American Derby (GIII) runner-up Gorgeous Kitten (11-2-3-1—$135,148); Dueling Grounds Derby second Parlor (10-3-2-1—$230,895); and Kentucky Downs maiden winner Sharm El Sheikh (9-1-1-2—$121,509) round out the field.
The Commonwealth Turf field from the rail out (with jockey): Sharm El Sheikh (Ricardo Santana Jr.); My Bariley (Fernando De La Cruz); Mr Cub (Rocco); Parlor (Julien Leparoux); Gorgeous Kitten (Corey Lanerie); Mr. Misunderstood (Geroux); Tiz a Slam (Albarado); and Giant Payday (Landeros).
Free Brisnet.com past performances for Saturday’s card and every racing program for Churchill Downs are available online at https://www.brisnet.com/product/past-performances/FPP.