Eclipse champion Big Blue Kitten is among the probable starters for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes (gr. I) at Churchill Downs – Breeders’ Cup Photo ©
With less than two weeks remaining until the May 6th Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) and the May 7th Kentucky Derby (gr. I) at Churchill Downs, the probable fields are starting to come together for the supporting stakes races that will be held on the days of the Oaks and Derby.
Leading the way is the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) at nine furlongs on turf, which will be broadcast live on NBC Sports during the Kentucky Derby television broadcast. The 2015 Eclipse champion turf male Big Blue Kitten is expected to lead a deep and competitive field that could also include his grade I-winning stablemate Slumber and the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) third-place finisher Grand Arch. Divisidero, who won the American Turf Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill last year, is also expected to run.
This year’s American Turf Stakes is expected to feature some of the top three-year-old turf horses in the country, including Airoforce, who finished second in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I). Also expected to run are Azar and Surgical Strike, who finished second and third in the Spiral Stakes (gr. III), as well as the graded stakes winners Converge and Dressed in Hermes.
A major highlight on the Kentucky Oaks undercard is the La Troienne Stakes (gr. I) for fillies and mares. Only three fillies are currently listed as probable to run, but they include the grade I winners Curalina and Sheer Drama, the latter coming off a determined victory in the seven-furlong Madison Stakes (gr. I) on April 9th at Keeneland.
Here are the probable fields for all the Oaks- and Derby-day graded stakes races, as listed by Churchill Downs in a press release:
400,000 ALYSHEBA (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, May 3, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Coin Broker, La Macchina, Looks to Spare, Majestic Affair, Natchez, Regally Ready. Possible: Blue Tone, Eagle.
$300,000 LA TROIENNE (GI) (Entries taken Tuesday, May 3, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Curalina, Penwith, Sheer Drama.
$200,000 EIGHT BELLES (GII) (Entries taken Tuesday, May 3, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Blast, Blip n’ Th Bye, Durango, Stageplay. Possible: Cash Back.
$150,000 EDGEWOOD (GIII) (Entries taken Tuesday, May 3, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Adore, Believe in Bertie, Catch a Glimpse, Harmonize, Nodiac (IRE), Outsider Art, Sky My Sky. Possible: Ava’s Kitten.
$150,000 TWIN SPIRES TURF SPRINT (GIII) (Entries taken Tuesday, May 3, race Friday, May 6) – Probable: Billy Two Hats, Latent Revenge, Mongol Bull, Power Alert (AUS), Something Extra, Speightsong. Possible: Alsvid.
$500,000 WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC (GI) (Entries taken Wednesday, May 4, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Big Blue Kitten, Bolo, Chocolate Ride, Danish Dynaformer, Divisidero, Finnegans Wake, Grand Arch, Reporting Star, Roman Approval, Tourist, World Approval.
$300,000 HUMANA DISTAFF (GI) (Entries taken Wednesday, May 4, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Dancing House, Sarah Sis, Spelling Again, Stonetastic, Taris, Wavell Avenue.
$300,000 CHURCHILL DISTAFF TURF MILE (GII) (Entries taken Wednesday, May 4, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Bureau de Change, Cash Control, Celestine, Rainha Da Bateria, Super Saks. Possible: Tepin.
$300,000 AMERICAN TURF (GII) (Entries taken Wednesday, May 4, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Airoforce, Azar, Camelot Kitten, Converge, Dressed in Hermes, J R’s Holiday, Surgical Strike.
$250,000 PAT DAY MILE (GIII) (Entries taken Wednesday, May 4, race Saturday, May 7) – Probable: Dazzling Gem, Discreetness, Forevamo, Imperial Hint, Sea Wizard, Star Hill.
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