The Thoroughbred Corp's Johar, a dead-heat winner with High Chaparral in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), and 3rd Turn Stable's defending winner Honor In War head a list of 98 older grass horses nominated to the 17th running of the $400,000-added Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.
The Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is one of three grade I races on the May 1 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) undercard. Trainer Bobby Frankel nominated 21 horses to the 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.
Johar burst onto the national scene when he got up in the final strides to catch defending champion High Chaparral in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Cup Turf at Oak Tree at Santa Anita. The 5-year-old son of Gone West
trained by Richard Mandella closed out the year with a disappointing 16th-place finish in the Japan Cup (JPN-I) in November.
Mandella has also nominated grade I winner Redattore.
A victory by Honor In War in the 2004 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic would make the 5-year-old son of Lord At War the races first two-time winner. He is trained by Paul McGee and owned by a partnership headed by Will Wolford, a former All-Pro offensive lineman in the National Football League.
Another 2003 highlight for Honor In War was a win in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park, but his campaign ended prematurely when he suffered an injury while training for the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT)
Other major grass stars on the list of nominees include Team Victory's Hard Buck, winner of the recent Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup (gr. IT); Anstu Stable's grade I winner Balto Star; and Gary Tanaka's Sarafan, winner of the 2002 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT).
The number of nominees to the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic is down from a year ago when 114 horses were made eligible for the race. The complete list of nominated horses may be viewed at www.churchilldowns.com.