Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's Posse, winner of the Kentucky Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at Churchill Downs as a 2-year-old and an impressive winner in Keeneland's Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) last time out, looms as one of the favorites for Saturday's second running of the $100,000 Matt Winn Stakes.
While the strapping 3-year-old son of Silver Deputy will be looking to add another stakes win to his resume, the Steve Asmussen trainee will also be seeking a consistency that has been missing so far in his career.
Posse has always displayed enormous potential during morning works and assistant trainer Scott Blasi often worked him with older stablemates last year because he would demoralize those in his age group. But his efforts in the afternoon have displayed only occasional brilliance.
"He's always kept us scratching our heads a little bit," said Blasi. "We shortened him back up and he's started showing us again that he's who we thought he was. We're pretty happy with where he's at right now and his past three races have been excellent."
Posse's worst efforts came last fall when he finished eighth to Champali in the one-mile Iroquois (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and finished in the same spot in the Great State Challenge Juvenile at 1 1/16 miles at Sam Houston won by Crackup.
He opened this season with a 6 3/4-length romp in a five furlong allowance race at the Fair Grounds and then finished second, beaten 9 1/4-lengths, to the Bobby Frankel-trained Midas Eyes in the Swale Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park.
Posse rebounded from that setback with a sharp 2 1/4-length win in the seven-furlong Lafayette (gr. III) at Keeneland -- a race in which he earned a career-best Beyer speed figure of 105.
Also entered in the Matt Winn are Cajun Beat (Boulanger), Captain Amour (Lumpkins), Cat Genuis (Borel), Risky Cat (Martinez Jr.), Elusive Hour (Albarado), and Unbridled America (Court).