2014 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern returns in the Churchill Downs Stakes.<br><a target="blank" href="http://photos.bloodhorse.com/BreedersCup/2014-Breeders-Cup/Classic/i-FDMBHrL">Order This Photo</a>

2014 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Bayern returns in the Churchill Downs Stakes.
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Bayern Returns in Churchill Downs Stakes

Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner makes 4-year-old debut on Derby day.

Kaleem Shah's Bayern , last year's Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, will make his 4-year-old debut in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) undercard May 2.

Trainer Bob Baffert said he was also considering the $400,000 Alysheba Stakes (gr. II) after the Offlee Wild colt recorded his last workout at Santa Anita Park, but settled on the seven-furlong test at Churchill Downs.

BALAN: Baffert Weighing Bayern's Derby Week Options

Bayern will break from post 2 with jockey Martin Garcia and will be the co-highweight, with Good Friends Stables' three-time grade I winner Private Zone, at 123 pounds. The rest of the seven-horse field will carry 118 pounds.

The well-traveled Bayernhis last eight starts have been at eight different tracksalso had wins in the Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II), William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I), and Woody Stephens Stakes (gr. II) last year, and is two-for-two at the seven-furlong distance. He broke his maiden at seven furlongs at Santa Anita in January of 2014, then won the Woody Stephens at the same distance by 7 1/2 lengths at Belmont Park in June.

Private Zone, a 6-year-old Macho Uno  gelding trained by Jorge Navarro, won the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) and Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) last year, and finished a troubled second in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 7 in his seasonal debut. He'll break from post 4 with jockey Martin Pedroza.

Multiple graded-stakes winners Pants on Fire and Nates Mineshaft are also entered in the Churchill Downs, but their last graded scores came in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

C. Zee, winner of the Feb. 21 Gulfstream Park Sprint Stakes (gr. III); Brewing, who will make his graded-stakes debut; and three-time graded stakes-placed Gentlemen's Bet complete the field

Entries: Churchill Downs S. (G2)

Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 02, 2015, Race 9

  • Grade II
  • 7f
  • Dirt
  • $500,000
  • 4 yo's & up
  • 3:43 PM (local)
PPHorseJockeyWgtTrainerM/L
11C. Zee (FL)Irad Ortiz, Jr.118Nicholas P. Zito-
22Bayern (KY)Martin Garcia123Bob Baffert-
33Brewing (FL)Ramon A. Vazquez118D. Wayne Lukas-
44Private Zone (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin A. Pedroza123Jorge Navarro-
55Pants On Fire (KY)Paco Lopez118Kelly J. Breen-
66Gentlemen's Bet (FL)Ricardo Santana, Jr.118Ron Moquett-
77Nates Mineshaft (KY)Florent Geroux118Anne P. Smith-