Marcavelly Matches Up in Even American Turf Field

Zayat Stable's Marcavelly, a 3 1/2-length winner of the Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) on the Keeneland turf in his only 2007 start, could be the one to beat in an evenly matched field of 3-year-olds entered for the $150,000 Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 miles on the Churchill Downs lawn Friday.

Marcavelly is one of seven colts in the American Turf field coming into the race off a victory, four of them in stakes. A field of 10 is likely to start with Imawildandcrazyguy set to run in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) on Saturday.

Bill Mott trains Marcavelly, a son of Johannesburg who has three wins and two seconds in five starts. Regular rider Edgar Prado has the call.

Andrew Farm's Duveen also comes into the race off a graded stakes win on the turf, having captured the nine-furlong Palm Beach (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park by a nose over Soldier's Dancer after being blocked into the stretch March 24. The Horse Chestnut colt, trained by Dale Romans, broke his maiden on the Gulfstream turf in his start prior to that. Mark Guidry, aboard for both of the victories, returns.

Tommy Town Thoroughbreds' Whatsthescript invades from California for trainer Doug O'Neill, having won his past three starts on grass, all stakes races. The Irish-bred Royal Applause colt is coming off a win in the one-mile Pasadena at Santa Anita March 16 and also grabbed the Generous (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park as a 2-year-old last fall. Isaias Enriquez has been aboard for all of the colt's U.S. starts,

Illinois-bred Jazz Quest won his stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile Grindstone on the Fair Grounds lawn March 24. Previously trained by Richard Scherer, the chestnut son of Jambalaya Jazz makes his first start for trainer Tom Amoss Friday. Julien Leparoux rides Jazz Quest.

Graded stakes winner Birdbirdistheword returns to the grass -- where he has won both of his starts -- following a seventh-place showing in the Florida Derby (gr. I) for trainer Ken McPeek. Birdbirdistheword also ran fifth in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) following a win in the Delta Downs Jackpot (gr. III) in December. He tries blinkers for the first time Friday and will be reunited with regular rider Robby Albarado.

$150,000 Crown Royal American Turf Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:47 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Royal War Academy (PA), 117, Stewart Elliott
2. Whatsthescript (IRE), 123, Isaias D. Enriquez
3. Jazz Quest (IL), 121, Julien R. Leparoux
4. Duveen (KY), 123, Mark Guidry
5. Marcavelly (KY), 123, Edgar S. Prado
6. Birdbirdistheword (FL), 117, Robby Albarado
7. Top Cross (KY), 117, Garrett K. Gomez
8. Imawildandcrazyguy (FL), 117, Rafael Bejarano
9. Distorted Reality (FL), 117, John R. Velazquez
10. Delightful Kiss (FL), 117, Jamie Theriot
11. Cobrador (ON), 117, Calvin H. Borel

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