Elusive Jazz returns to Keeneland to defend his title in the $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) Oct. 7. Last year's winner, who has only raced twice in 2006, will face 10 others in the six-furlong test. Bobby Barnett trains the 5-year-old for Stony Oak Farm.
In his last race, Elusive Jazz finished fifth in the Arlington Breeders' Cup Sprint Handicap. Level Playingfield, who finished fourth in last year's Pheonix, finished third in that race. Others in the field to come out of that race include second-place finisher Coach Jimi Lee and sixth-place finisher Kelly's Landing.
In his last start, Level Playingfield won the Marfa Stakes at Turfway Park Sept. 16, making him the only competitor with a victory over the Polytrack surface. Others who have raced on it include Elusive Jazz, Caller One, and Vicarage.
With the exception of Coach Jimi Lee, every horse in the Phoenix is a graded stakes winner. They include: Judiths Wild Rush, Spanish Chestnut, Silver Wagon, Weigelia, Vicarage, Caller One, and Areyoutalkintome. However, Judiths Wild Rush's victory in the Vigil Handicap (Can-III) April 29 makes the Reade Baker trainee the sole winner of a graded stakes this year. Also the winner of this year's Jacques Cartier Stakes at Woodbine, Judiths Wild Rush finished off the board in his last start, the Forego Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 2.
The field, with post position, jockey, and weight:
1 – Elusive Jazz, Robby Albarado, 118
2 – Weigelia, Jose Lezcano, 118
3 – Level Playingfield, John McKee, 118
4 – Kelly's Landing, Rafael Bejarano, 118
5 – Vicarage, Christopher DeCarlo, 118
6 – Judiths Wild Rush, James McAleney, 122
7 – Silver Wagon, Garrett Gomez, 118
8 – Spanish Chestnut, Julien Leparoux, 118
9 – Areyoutalkintome, Victor Espinoza, 118
10 – Caller One, Kyle Kaenel, 118
11 – Coach Jimi Lee, Eduardo Perez, 120