E Paul Robsham Stables’ Travelin Man, winner of the Swale Stakes (GII) in his most recent start, tops a field of nine 3-year-olds entered for the 87th running of the one-mile $200,000-added The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial (GIII) on Saturday’s “Opening Night” program of Churchill Downs’ 137th Spring Meet.
First post time for Saturday night’s 11-race program that kicks off the 39-day Spring Meet is 6 p.m. (all times EDT), with the Derby Trial going as the eighth race on the card with a 9:39 p.m. post time. The Derby Trial will be televised live on Louisville’s WAVE-3 TV from 9-10 p.m.
Highlighting the Spring Meet will be the 137th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 7, and the 137th running of the Kentucky Oaks (GI) on Friday, May 6, that will carry a record $1 million purse.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Travelin Man has won two of three starts and prior to his victory as the odds-on favorite in the Swale had run second in the Hutcheson (GII). John Velazquez, who has been aboard Travelin Man in all of his starts, has the mount on the son of Trippi who will break from post position two and carry high weight of 121 pounds.
Another graded stakes winner in the field is the Fresh Start Stable’s J J’s Lucky Train, winner of the Bay Shore (GIII) on April 9 in his most recent start. Trained by William Anderson, J J’s Lucky Train has won five of eight career starts and will be ridden Saturday by Jose Ferrer and break from post position five under a 121-pound impost.
Also carrying 121 pounds will be Stud El Aguila’s Indiano, trained by Marty Wolfson. A three-time group stakes winner in Panama where he was undefeated in five starts, Indiano has two runner-up finishes in the U.S. that includes running second to Travelin Man in the Swale. Garrett Gomez has the assignment on Indiano, who will break from post position under 121 pounds.
The most recent Derby Trial participant to come back the following week in the Kentucky Derby was Don’t Get Mad in 2005. Don’t Get Mad won the Trial and then ran fourth behind Giacomo in the Derby.
The field for The Cliff’s Edge Derby Trial, from the rail out, is as follows: Duca (Jon Court, 117 pounds), Travelin Man (Velazquez, 121), Machen (Edgar Prado, 117), Beamer (Calvin Borel, 117), J J’s Lucky Train (Ferrer, 121), Dominus (Julien Leparoux, 117), Indian Winter (Shaun Bridgmohan, 117), Indiano (Gomez, 121) and B G Suavecito (Eddie Martin Jr., 117).