WinStar Farm’s Advice, most recently 13th in the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), makes his turf debut against six 3-year-old rivals in the $150,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT) at Churchill DownsJune 13.
Upset winner of the Lexington Stakes (gr. II) on Keeneland’s Polytrack April 18, Advice has shown his best form on synthetic surfaces during his seven-start career, which prompted trainer Todd Pletcher to try the son of Chapel Royal on grass.
“He’s handled synthetics very well, and with his running style and timing of this race we thought it would be a good spot to try him on turf,” Pletcher said. “He’s breezed well over (turf) as well.
“He came out of the Derby fine. We feel like his best running style is to make one big move and there should be an honest pace in here with Florentino, so we’ll see what happens.”
Advice, bred in Florida by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rogers Jr., and out of the Hennessy mare Word o’ Wisdom, was runner-up but disqualified to third in the Arlington-Washington Futurity (gr. III) as a juvenile. He also ran fifth in the March 29 Sunland Derby, just behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, who finished fourth in that race.
Advice drew the inside post and will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, who was aboard for the 15-1 Lexington score.
Darley Stable’s Florentino should be on the front end in the 1 1/8-mile Jefferson Cup and will try to take it all the way under jockey Alan Garcia. The Japanese-bred son of Swept Overboard set the pace in the April 3 Central Bank Transylvania Stakes (gr. IIIT) last out and took a lead into the stretch before weakening to finish third. The Kiaran McLaughlin trainee has already won twice on grass this season, including a 2 3/4-length allowance score at Gulfstream Park March 1.
No Inflation and El Crespo, second and third, respectively, in the May 23 Arlington Classic Stakes, are also in with a chance. No Inflation, a Repriced gelding trained by Tom Proctor, won a one-mile allowance test on Tampa Bay Downs’ turf by 4 1/4 lengths earlier this season. Robby Albarado has the riding assignment for the first time.
Bruce N Autumn has just one win in eight lifetime starts and will add blinkers for trainer Dale Romans.
Also on the Churchill program, which is highlighted by the $600,000 Stephen Foster Handicap, is another turf race, this one for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles. The $150,000 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT) drew a field of 11 and is the last of five graded stakes on the card.
Nelson McMakin’s Hot Cha Cha is the lone stakes winner in the Regret, that coming courtesy of her upset score in the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III) March 21 over Turfway’s Polytrack. The daughter of Cactus Ridge came back to finish runner-up by a nose in the Appalachian Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and then was fifth, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths, in the May 23 American 1000 Guineas at Arlington Park in her first two tries on grass.
Jesus Castanon will ride Hot Cha Cha for trainer Philip Sims. They will break from post 7.
Silverton Hill’s Excelente, runner-up by a half-length in the 1000 Guineas, has a good chance, as does Zayat Stables’ Rena, who was second in the Hilltop Stakes May 15 at Pimlico. Top rider Garrett Gomez draws the riding assignment on the latter.
$150,000 Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT, Race 7, 3:57 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Advice (FL), G K Gomez, 117, T A Pletcher
2. Jake Wil Gallop (KY), T L Collier, 117, L Hellman
3. No Inflation (FL), R Albarado, 117, T F Proctor
4. Florentino (JPN), A Garcia, 117, K P McLaughlin
5. El Crespo (KY), J R Leparoux, 121, G R Arnold, II
6. Har D Boy (KY), S Bridgmohan, 117, S M Asmussen
7. Bruce N Autumn (KY), M Mena, 117, D L Romans
$150,000 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 11, 5:58 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Excelente (IRE), M Mena, 116, D Miller
2. The Best Day Ever (KY), C J Lanerie, 116, K G McPeek
3. Rena (KY), G K Gomez, 116, D L Romans
4. Satans Quick Chick (KY), J Rose, 116, E R Reed
5. Banker's Choice (KY), C H Borel, 116, I R Wilkes
6. Oculuna (KY), A Garcia, 116, D Miller
7. Hot Cha Cha (KY), J L Castanon, 116, P A Sims
8. Super Poni (KY), T Farina, 116, K Chudzik
9. Keertana (KY), R Albarado, 116, T F Proctor
10. Prytania (FL), J R Leparoux, 116, T F Proctor
11. Kiss Mine (KY), J K Court, 116, D R Vance