Ellwood W. Johnston's Old English Rancho homebred Flying First Class kicked clear in the stretch and was hard ridden to a 3 3/4-length victory by Mark Guidry to win the $117,800 Derby Trial for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Kicking off Churchill Down's spring meet a week before the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is the April 28 Derby Trial Stakes, where a full field of 14 3-year-old males will contend for the title of the $100,000 race. Appearing to head the field is Southwest Stakes winner Teuflesberg.
The Transylvania Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf and the traditional college scholarship day highlight Friday's opening card at Keeneland in Lexington.
Teuflesberg and Officer Rocket, the first two finishers in the Southwest Stakes last month, return to Oaklawn Park Saturday for the $300,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds where they will meet spectacular maiden winners Curlin and Flying First Class.
Unbeaten odds-on favorite Tiz Wonderful, ridden by John Velazquez, fought back after being passed in the stretch by Any Given Saturday to regain the lead near the finish and post a half-length victory in the 80th running of the $223,800, grade II Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes for two-year-olds on the closing day of the 21-day Fall Meet at Churchill Downs.
Stonestreet Stable's Tiz Wonderful, who has won his two career starts by a combined margin of 19 Â¼-lengths, is the odds-on morning line favorite in a field of nine 2-year-olds entered in Saturday's $200,000-added Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II).
Stewart Madison's homebred Happy Ticket put in her final major preparation for the $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) as she worked five furlongs in 1:03 4/5 on Saturday morning at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Anthony Reinstedler saddled the first and second place finishers in the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) at Turfway Park Saturday, with U D Ghetto besting stablemate Shermanesque by 1 1/4 lengths.
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