The top three finishers from last year's $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint Stakes (gr. IIIT) -- Morluc, Testify, and Texas Glitter -- are entered in the five-furlong turf dash set to be renewed Friday at Churchill Downs.
Defending champ Morluc won the 5 1/2-furlong Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland in his most recent start. The frequent flyer has won five stakes races in his career, with each one coming on a Kentucky track. The 6-year-old son of Housebuster has also finished second in two consecutive renewals of the Hong Kong Sprint -- once as a group III and last year when upgraded to group II status -- and in the Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup Handicap in February.
Testify, second in last year's Aegon Sprint, won the 2001 Sam Houston Turf Sprint Cup and finished fifth in the Shakertown after a seventh-place finish in the King Cotton Stakes on the main track at Oaklawn Park. The 5-year-old son of Pembroke is trained by Randy Morse and will be ridden by Jerry Bailey.
Texas Glitter enters Friday's race fresh off a course-record setting performance in the Yankee Affair Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The 6-year-old son of Glitterman was beaten by just a length in last year's race. The Todd Pletcher trainee has won nine of 29 career starts, two of which came in graded stakes.
The 3-year-old gelding Mighty Beau gets in light at 106 pounds, 16 less than co-highweights Morluc and Texas Glitter. The Oklahoma-bred son of Rainbow Prospect finished a head-length behind Morluc when second in the Shakertown but has yet to win a stakes race.
The 12-horse field also includes four-time stakes winner Grangeville, who was third in the last two renewals of the Shakertown, and Jaipur Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Gone Fishin.
The field, in post-position order with jockeys and weights, will consist of:
1--Gone Fishin, Frank Lovato Jr., 115
2--Grangeville, Mark Guidry, 119
3--Knave, Jorge Chavez, 113
4--Texas Glitter, John Velazquez, 122
5--Red Lightning, Mike Smith, 113
6--Mighty Beau, Willie Martinez, 106
7--Freeway Ticket, Eddie Martin Jr., 113
8--Testify, Jerry Bailey, 119
9--Orientate, Pat Day, 119
10--Morluc, Robby Albarado, 122
11--Golden Dragon, Kent Desormeaux, 113
12--Twilight Road, Rene Douglas, 113