The 8 3/4-length winner of the Oak Hall at Evangeline Downs in his last start headlines a field of nine including last year's 1-2 finishers, Scatman and Jasizzle, and eight-time stakes winner Delaunay.
An overflow field of 14, highlighted by undefeated Keeneland contender Winning Cause, plus previous Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix (gr. III) victors Sum of the Parts and Hoofit, are entered in this year's edition of the race.
Owner Mark Russell did some ducking and dodging with his 7-year-old gelding Russell Road at Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, and it paid off in an unusual way.
Scatman showed a nice closing kick when coming from off the pace to defeat four foes in the Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs, besting Jasizzle and defending Aristides winner Rothko.
The $100,000 Aristides Stakes (gr. III) may be the feature worth the most June 1 at Churchill Downs, but a familiar cast of characters makes the $65,000 Opening Verse a more intriguing contest.
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