A field of six sprinters has drawn for Saturday's $150,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs. Run in honor of the first Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner in 1875, graded stakes winners Battle Won, Bwana Charlie, and Gators N Bears head an even half-dozen going six furlongs over the main track.
Jay and Gretchen Manoogian's Battle Won enters off a Derby Day score in the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) May 7, winning by 3 1/2 lengths over Saturday foe Level Playingfield. The 5-year-old son of Honour and Glory
posted a bullet work (4f, Firm, 48.40, B, 1/10) over the Churchill turf on Tuesday, the last in a series of very sharp moves at the Louisville track.
Bred in Kentucky by Glencrest Farm, Battle Won is conditioned by Charles Simon. The Aristides will make the third start for the gelding since being shipped to Hong Kong for a group I race in which he finished a distant eighth, 8 3/4 lengths behind Silent Witness.
A $325,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by previous owner Lazy Lane Farms, Simon gives first-time rider Mike Smith the call for a stalker's trip from post four under an impost 117 pounds.
Leo Nechamkin owns and trains Gators N Bears, the most accomplished of the field in money earned, with $795,270. Bred in New Jersey by Robert Camac, the 5-year-old son of Stormy Atlantic
hasn't won since June of 2004 when he annexed the James B. Moseley Breeders' Cup Handicap at Suffolk Downs. Prior to that he took the Maryland Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico.
Gators N Bears has hit the board in 24 of his 29 trips postward and poses a big threat with his best effort. He should be near the pace as he and Charles Lopez break from post five under 118.
Bwana Charlie, Heiligbrodt Racing Stable's son of Indian Charlie
, looks to get back to his winning form Saturday as well. Bred in Kentucky by E & D Enterprises, the 4-year-old colt has only one start under his girth in 2005, that in the Duncan F. Kenner Breeders' Cup Handicap at Fair Grounds in March.
Fourth in that race, and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) last October, Bwana Charlie last scored in the Amsterdam Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga in August of 2004. The Steve Asmussen trainee was a $240,000 Fasig-Tipton Texas 2-year-olds in training purchase for Heiligbrodt and has been on the board in 13 of 16 starts for the outfit earning $388,850.
He and Corey Lanerie will break out of post six carrying a highweight of 119.
Last year's Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) winner Level Playingfield (by Level Sands), Jet Prospector (by A. P Jet
), and Kelly's Landing (by Patton
) round out the field.Aristides Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III ), Saturday, June 25, 3-year-olds Upward, Six Furlongs, $150,000, Appx. Post Time 5:26 PM EST.
PP--Horse, Weight, Jockey
1--Kelly's Landing, 113, Gary Stevens
2--Jet Prospector, 114, Robby Albarado
3--Level Playingfield, 114, John McKee
4--Battle Won, 117, Mike Smith
5--Gators N Bears, 118, Charles Lopez
6--Bwana Charlie, 119, Corey Lanerie