Cannonball and Chamberlain Bridge, who were heads apart while finishing second and third, respectively, in the April 11 Shakertown (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, should be set up perfectly for a run at the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) on May 1 at Churchill Downs.
A field of nine was drawn for the Turf Sprint, the first of four graded stakes on the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) day program. Post time for the five-furlong event is set for 1:26 p.m. EDT.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Cannonball, a 4-year-old Catienus gelding, ran a winning race in the Shakertown despite going four-wide into the turn. The New York homebred raced between horses in a contentious stretch drive, but just missed to Heroes Reward in his second start of the season.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Cannonball has only won once in five starts since returning to sprint distances, but has been on the board in all but one of those. The dark bay finished seventh in the 1 1/16-mile American Turf (gr. IIIT) last year on Oaks day. Elvis Trujillo will get the mount.
The Ramsey’s will also send out Mike Maker trainee Accredit for his grass debut. The 4-year-old son of E Dubai has won one of two starts since being claimed for $75,000 last month and was third by just a length in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. IIIT) last out on the Oaklawn dirt. Julien Leparoux will ride.
Carl Moore’s Chamberlain Bridge was also a tough-luck loser in the Shakertown after having a short lead for much of the stretch. The 5-year-old War Chant gelding has been a consistent runner for Bret Calhoun, hitting the board in all but two of his 17 lifetime starts. He has eight wins in his career, and is 2-for-2 on the Churchill turf. Garrett Gomez will get the return call on the 121-pound high weight.
Other contenders are Due Date, who finished fourth in the Shakertown; Chitoz, making his second start off a layoff for Todd Pletcher; and Smart Enough, who has been in the money in 17 of 18 starts but has not raced since October.