Court Vision, already with three grade I wins on turf including the Shadwell Turf Mile at the 2009 Keeneland fall meet, will try to add to his impressive résumé April 9 when he takes on seven in the $300,000 Maker’s Mark Mile (gr. IT) in Lexington.
Owned by IEAH Stables, Resolute Group Stables, and WinStar Farm, Court Vision opened his 5-year-old campaign with a victory in the Feb. 6 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. IT)—a race in which he crossed the finish line second but was moved up to the top spot when Take the Points was disqualified for interference. Robby Albarado was aboard for that win and he will again keep the mount for trainer Rick Dutrow Jr.
Court Vision, who will carry top weight of 121 pounds and break from post 6, has earned more than $1.7 million from 20 starts. Also among his seven wins are triumphs in the 2008 Hollywood Derby (gr. IT), and the Remsen (gr. II) and Iroquois (gr. III) on dirt as a juvenile.
A bay son of Gulch—Weekend Storm, by Storm Bird, Court Vision was bred in Kentucky by William S. Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership.
IEAH and Dutrow will also send out 6-year-old Pictural, who makes his first stakes appearance since finishing 10th in the 2008 Phoenix Stakes (gr. III) on the Keeneland Polytrack.
Like Dutrow, trainer Roger Attfield will also saddle a pair of starters. Johanna Glen-Teven’s Passager was runner-up to Mr. Sidney by only a half-length in last year’s Maker’s Mark Mile and is still looking for his first black-type win in the U.S. in his sixth start. The 7-year-old gelded son of Anabaa will make his season debut after finishing off the board in his final two starts of 2009. He is a winner of five of 27 starts, including a group III score in native France where he began his career. Corey Nakatani has the mount.
Attfield’s other charge is 7-year-old Society's Chairman, who became a graded stakes winner last out when he took the 7 1/2-furlong Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) by a head after coming from off the pace. The Canadian-bred son of Not Impossible is a consistent 7-3-4 from 20 starts, most of them coming at Woodbine. Society’s Chairman, owned by Charles Fipke, does have two wins in three starts on the Keeneland turf. Jose Lezcano will ride.
J. Paul Reddam and Willmott Stables’ Wesley is a two-time graded winner on turf. The 5-year-old El Prado horse won the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga in 2008 and the Miami Mile Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder last year. He enters this race off a nine-furlong optional claiming victory at Gulfstream in February. Javier Castellano will ride for Mark Hennig.
Green Lantern Stables’ Karelian enters off a wire-to-wire win in the Tampa Bay Stakes Feb. 20 when he held off champion Gio Ponti by a nose in his season debut. The Rusty Arnold trainee missed by a nose to Court Vision in the 2009 Shadwell Turf Mile and has accumulated nine wins in 20 lifetime starts.
Rounding out the contentious field is Cherokee Artist, who missed by a nose in the Canadian Turf (gr. IIIT) Feb. 20 at Gulfstream, and Rogue Victory, entering off a victory in a $32,000 claimer at Gulfstream last month for trainer George Weaver.
$300,000 Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IT, Race 9, 5:05 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 Mile (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pictural (KY), D Mernagh, 117, R E Dutrow Jr.
2. Society's Chairman (ON) , J Lezcano, 119, R L Attfield
3. Cherokee Artist (KY), J Rose, 117, H G Motion
4. Wesley (KY), J Castellano, 119, M A Hennig
5. Karelian (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, G R Arnold, II
6. Court Vision (KY), R Albarado, 121, R E Dutrow, Jr.
7. Passager (FR), C S Nakatani, 117, R L Attfield
8. Rogue Victory (KY), K J Desormeaux, 117, G Weaver