Fern Circle Stables, Stud TNT and Old Friends, Inc.’s Vettori Kin (BRZ) will defend his title in Saturday’s $100,000 Louisville Stakes (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.
The Louisville at 1 ½ miles on turf is carded as Race 9 at 4:55 p.m. (all times Eastern) on the 11-race program that also includes a simulcast of Preakness Day action from Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course. Churchill Downs’ first race is 12:45 p.m.
Trained by five-time Louisville winner Kenny McPeek, Vettori Kin most recently finished fifth and was defeated by 2 ¾ lengths in the Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland. The 6-year-old son of Vettori is in search of his first victory since last year’s edition of the Louisville. Vettori Kin will be ridden by James Graham and break from post No. 6.
Among the challengers to Vettori Kin is Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Head of Plains Partners’ Singspiel Stakes (GIII) winner Shahroze (IRE). Trained by Graham Motion, Shahroze most-recently finished second behind fellow Louisville entrant Nessy in a 1 ½-mile turf allowance event at Keeneland. The classy 5-year-old son of Roman Emperor (IRE) will be ridden by Chris Landeros from post 4.
The complete Louisville field from the rail out (with jockeys and trainers): Tiz a Slam (Steve Bahen, Roger Atfield); Nessy (Julien Leparoux, Ian Wilkes); Soglio (Shaun Bridgmohan, Mike Maker); Shahroze (IRE) (Landeros, Motion); Strike the Flag (Channing Hill, Neil Howard); Vettori Kin (BRZ) (Graham, McPeek); and Royal Artillery (Robby Albarado, Ignacio Correas IV).
The Louisville Stakes was formerly known as the Louisville Handicap. New for the 2019 Spring Meet at Churchill Downs, all handicap races were changed to stakes events.
The 144th running of the $1.5 million Preakness Stakes (GI), the Middle Jewel of the Triple Crown, goes as the 13th of 14 races at Pimlico at approximately 6:45 p.m. The race will be shown on television monitors throughout Churchill Downs, including the massive Big Board.
Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m. General Admission is $7, reserved seating is $12 and reserved dining packages are $51. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.