The Todd Pletcher-trained duo of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Capo Bastone and Perretti Racing Stable’s Forty Tales top a field of nine horses entered today for Saturday night’s 89th running of the $175,000-added Derby Trial (GIII).
The one-mile Derby Trial highlights Opening Night of the 38-day spring meet, the centerpiece of which comes the following weekend with the 139th running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on Saturday, May 4 and the 139th running of the $1 million Kentucky Oaks (GI) the day before.
Scheduled as the 10th race on Saturday’s 11-race program, the Derby Trial is the final race on the “Road to the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com.” As part of the Wild Card series, points will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers on a 20-8-4-2 scale. First post time Saturday is 6 p.m. (all times Eastern) with the Derby Trial going off at 10:42 p.m.
Capo Bastone, who finished third in last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) and picked up two points on the Kentucky Derby Presented by TwinSpires.com Leaderboard, finished ninth in the Spiral (GIII) in his most recent start. Garrett Gomez has the mount on Capo Bastone, who will break from post position six.
Forty Tales, who was the runner-up in the Hutcheson (GII) on Feb. 2 before finishing fifth in the Swale (GIII) on March 2 at Gulfstream Park in his most recent start, will break from post position four under Joel Rosario.
Coming from California to contest the Trial is Zayat Stables’ Zee Bros, trained by Bob Baffert. Zee Bros broke his maiden in his second start at Santa Anita on March 23 and has posted two bullet, five-furlong works since, including a :58.80 move here on April 18. Zee Bros will break from post position three and be ridden by Mike Smith.
In addition to Pletcher and Baffert, two other Kentucky Derby-winning trainers will be represented in the Trial: four-time winner D. Wayne Lukas, who will send out Titletown Five, and Lynn Whiting, who will be represented by Officer Alex.
A maiden winner at Churchill Downs last fall, Titletown Five is owned by Lukas in a partnership that includes Green Bay Packers legends Paul Hornung and Willie Davis. Gary Stevens will ride Titletown Five, who will break from post position nine.
Officer Alex, owned by Winning Horses Stable and Choctaw Racing Stable, won the Bachelor at Oaklawn Park in his most recent start. Officer Alex will break from post position one and be ridden by Robby Albarado.
The field for the Derby Trial, from the rail out, is as follows: Officer Alex (Albarado), Ruler of Love (Rosie Napravnik), Zee Bros (Smith), Forty Tales (Rosario), Ruble (Alan Garcia), Capo Bastone (Gomez), Tour Guide (Miguel Mena), G.T. Tabu (Willie Martinez) and Titletown Five (Stevens). All starters will carry 118 pounds.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN). Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.