Riley Tucker won the King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January.

Riley Tucker won the King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park in January.

Coady Photography/Oaklawn Park

Riley Tucker vs. Cash Refund in Aristides

Eight older sprinters to go under the lights in the grade III Aristides.

Zayat Stables’ Riley Tucker, a two-time winner this year, squares off against a rested Cash Refund for the Klein family in the June 2 Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs.

The Aristides is one of three graded stakes run under the Twin Spires June 2 during a “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” program at the Louisville track. The $100,000 Aristides, for older males at six furlongs, is slated to go at 9:05 p.m. EDT.

Taking on the top pair is JCM Racing Stable’s Noble's Promise , winner of last year’s Aristides. Noble’s Promise, winner of the 2009 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) and fifth in the following year’s Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) behind Super Saver , has been kept to sprinting since. Formerly owned by Chasing Dreams Stable, the 5-year-old Cuvee horse was sold for $125,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall sale. Ken McPeek has continued the training.

Riley Tucker will be making his 42nd career start and his third in the Aristides. He won the race in 2010, getting the six furlongs in 1:08.34, and was fifth behind Noble’s Promise a year ago. This season the son of Harlan's Holiday won the King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn Park and also landed an allowance/optional claiming event April 12 in Arkansas. In his last start he was third as the favorite behind Good Lord in an allowance/optional claimer May 3 at Churchill Downs.

Cash Refund, a two-time stakes winner in 2010 for trainer Steve Margolis, has run three times since late November, all coming during the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots meeting. The 6-year-old homebred gelding by Petionville—Swept Away, by Mystery Storm, was second, beaten a nose in a pair of starts before running fourth in the D. F. Kenner Stakes April 1. All three starts came at six furlongs.

Cash Refund fired a bullet :47 3/5 work May 25 at Churchill Downs.

Padua Stables’ Rothko, a three-time winner from seven starts, hasn’t been out since running fifth in the Feb. 25 San Carlos Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park. He’s made a pair of starts at Churchill Downs, and the last time, the son of Arch won an allowance/optional claiming test by 6 1/2 lengths last November getting six furlongs in 1:09.52.

Pattons Creek Farm’s Will's Wildcat won last fall’s Jimmy V. Stakes on the Breeders’ Cup undercard but was a disappointing eighth against Shackleford  and Amazombie on Derby Day in the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II). He should enjoy the cutback in distance and drop back to grade III company.

Veteran trainer Forrest Kaelin has entered Thomas Shank and Stan Young’s Good Lord, a 5-year-old gelding by Greatness. Stakes-placed, Good Lord ran second May 3 in an allowance/optional claiming event. Fourth in last year’s Aristides, Good Lord won going seven furlongs in 1:21.86 on Derby Day in 2011.

Aristides Stakes (gr. III), $100,000, Churchill Downs, June 2 (Race 7, 9:05 p.m. EDT), 3-year-olds and up, six furlongs.
PP, Horse, Jockey, Wgt., Trainer
1, Rothko, Corey Nakatani, 120, Steve Asmussen
2, Global Power, Leandro Goncalves, 120, Chad Brown
3, Riley Tucker, Manuel Mena, 120, Steve Asmussen
4, Noble’s Promise, Corey Lanerie, 120, Ken McPeek
5, Good Lord, Brian Hernandez Jr., 120, Forrest Kaelin
6, Will’s Wildcat, Calvin Borel, 120, James Baker
7, Whiskey Rebellion, Crystal Carman, 116, Amalio Garcia
8, Cash Refund, Shaun Bridgmohan, 120, Steve Margolis