Grade I stakes winner Greg's Gold meets streaking up-and-comer Fabulous Strike in the $150,000-added Aristides Breeders' Cup (gr. III) for sprinters at Churchill Downs Saturday.
The Aristides Breeders' Cup and the Dogwood Breeders' Cup, each of which carries a purse supplement of $50,000 from the Breeders' Cup Stakes program, are joined on the 11-race Saturday schedule by the $100,000-added Opening Verse, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on the Matt Winn Turf Course.
The Aristides BC, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and up, has attracted a talented field of seven headed by William Boswell's veteran Greg's Gold and Tea Party Stable's rising star Fabulous Strike.
The 6-year-old Greg's Gold, a son of Lake George trained by David Hofmans, won the Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) at Del Mar in July of 2005, but suffered a tendon injury after that victory that kept him out of competition until early this year.
He has won two of three starts since his return, with the only loss being at the hands of the talented Smokey Stover in the Portrero Grande Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Santa Anita. He won the $150,000 Tiznow, beating California-bred horses over Cushion Track at Hollywood Park last time out.
Greg's Gold was installed as the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Aristides. David Flores will ride Greg's Gold, who will carry 122 pounds. The race was won last year by the ill-fated 2005 sprint champion Lost in the Fog and by grade I winner Kelly's Landing in 2005.
Fabulous Strike has reeled off a string of three sizzling stakes victories at Mountaineer Park in his last three starts and will search for his first graded success in the Aristides. The 4-year-old Smart Strike gelding won those races by a combined margin of 26 1/4 lengths and has earned scorching speed figures each time. Ramon Dominguez will ride trainer Todd Beattie's Philadelphia Park-based star, who is the 5-2 second choice in the morning line and will tote 120 pounds.
Also in the field is Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren's Saint Anddan, an impressive two-length winner of the Churchill Downs (gr. II) on the Kentucky Derby card and the D.F. Kenner at Fair Grounds in his last two races. Trained by Bobby Frankel, the son of A.P. Indy has won three of four races this year. Rafael Bejarano will ride Saint Anddan, who will carry high weight of 124 pounds.
$150,000 Aristides Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III, Race 10, 5:51 p.m.), 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Off Duty (FL), 118, Julien R. Leparoux, 8/1
2. Greg's Gold (CA), 122, David R. Flores, 2/1
3. Gaff (KY), 122, Shaun Bridgmohan, 5/1
4. Saint Anddan (KY), 124, Rafael Bejarano, 3/1
5. Fabulous Strike (PA), 120, Ramon A. Dominguez, 5/2
6. Santana Strings (FL), 118, Calvin H. Borel, 12/1
7. Cougar Cat (PA), 118, Robby Albarado, 15/1