Highweighted at 123 pounds in a field of 11 sophomores (all others carry 118), John Oxley's son of Lion Heart comes off a runner-up finish in the May 5 Wando Stakes going the 1 1/16-mile Matt Winn distance at Woodbine on the all weather track. He returns to graded company for trainer Mark Casse for the first time since running 10th in the April 13 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland after finishing second in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III).
As a 2-year-old, Ontario-bred Uncaptured strung together four straight wins at Woodbine before he missed in the Grey Stakes (Can-III) there. He then came back to win the Iroquois (gr. III) and Kentucky Jockey Club back-to-back.
Code West and Treasury Bill, both owned by Gary and Mary West, are among familiar runners entered in the Matt Winn.
Code West, who finished a nose behind Ive Struck a Nerve in the Risen Star Stakes (gr. II) in February at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, ran a neck back of fellow Matt Winn contender Bellarmine in an allowance/optional claiming race at Churchill May 4. He returned to win an allowance at Pimlico Race Course by 6 3/4 lengths May 18.
A dark bay or brown ridgling by Lemon Drop Kid , Code West was guided in his most recent victory by Rosie Napravnik, who has the call for trainer Bob Baffert June 15.
"He was ultra-impressive," Napravnik said. "He was the class of the race."
Treasury Bill, another son of Lemon Drop Kid who previously was in the barn of Ron Ellis, will start for trainer Wayne Catalano for the first time Saturday. Runner-up to Shakin It Up in the San Vicente (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park in February, Treasury Bill most recently finished third in the Came Home Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park May 11.
"I've had him about a month or so, and he's trained very well," Catalano said. "Everything is good."
In preparation for the Matt Winn, which will go as Race 7 at 9:05 p.m. EDT on the undercard for the $500,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), Treasury Bill breezed a bullet five furlongs in 1:00 2/5 at Churchill June 7.
Michael Langford's Carve, third in the April 13 Arkansas Derby (gr. I), comes in off the layoff for Michael Langford and trainer Steve Asmussen. The First Samurai colt had two strong back-to-back wins before finishing off the board in the Rebel Stakes (gr. II) and coming back to round out the trifecta behind Overanalyze and Frac Daddy .
Siena Farm's Dewey Square is another familiar contender. The Bernardini colt ran third in the Kentucky Jockey Club behind Uncaptured and Frac Daddy, but in three efforts in graded stakes company for trainer Dale Romans since then has been off the board.
Jim Tafel's Street Spice, fifth in the April 20 Illinois Derby (gr. III), Brittlyn Stable's Gentilly Stakes winner Sunbean, fifth last time out in the Coolmore Lexington (gr. III), and My Meadowview Farm's Federico Tesio Stakes winner Abstraction are others of interest.
Bellarmine, a solid allowance winner for Magdalena Racing and trainer Ken McPeek, completes the field along with April 27 Derby Trial (gr. III) third-place finisher Ruler of Love and Northern Spur Stakes runner-up Looking Cool.
$100,000 Matt Winn Stakes (gr. III, Race 7, approximate post time 9:05 p.m. EDT), 3YOs, 1 1/16 miles (dirt)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, Odds
1. Looking Cool (KY), A. Garcia, 118, C A Nafzger, 15-1
2. Sunbean (LA), J. Rosario, 118, M J Maker, 6-1
3. Uncaptured (ON), M. Mena, 123, M E Casse, 6-1
4. Dewey Square (KY), M.E. Smith, 118, D L Romans, 12-1
5. Code West (VA), R. Napravnik, 118, B Baffert, 4-1
6. Treasury Bill (KY), S. Bridgmohan, 118, W M Catalano, 6-1
7. Abstraction (KY), L.R. Goncalves, 118, D M Carroll, 9-2
8. Street Spice (KY), J. Sanchez, 118, G Geier, 20-1
9. Ruler of Love (FL), J. Rocco, Jr., 118, J Scott, 12-1
10. Bellarmine (KY), J.R. Leparoux, 118, K G McPeek, 9-2
11. Carve (KY), R. Santanta, Jr., 118, S M Asmussen, 12-1
Blinkers On: Sunbean, Street Spice