A field of nine 3-year-olds passed the entry box for Saturday's Sir Barton Stakes on the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) undercard at Pimlico Race Course. Highweight Killenaule, third in last year's Remsen Stakes (gr. II) behind winner Rockport Harbor, and undefeated Pinpoint, under the second-high impost, lead the field.
The Eclipse Award winning team of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez always get respect at the windows and the Sir Barton should be no different with Killenaule, who will carry 122 pounds. The dark bay son of Fusaichi Pegasus
is owned by Michael Tabor, the same connections that campaigned another dark bay son of the 2000 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, this year's Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) star Bandini.
Prior to a distant third in the 2004 Remsen, Killenaule had displayed top form by winning three straight, including a draw-away victory in the Storm Cat Stakes at Meadowlands and a 2-1/2-length score in the Dover Stakes at Delaware Park. Two recent seventh-place finishes in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and in Gulfstream's Palm Beach Stakes (gr. III) have been followed by a string of top-flight works --including a bullet (4f, fast, :48, B, 1/13) at Delaware -- and the addition of Velazquez, who rides for the first time, should give him the edge.
Bred in Kentucky by High Creek Farm, out of the Metfield mare Tipically Irish, Killenaule has earned $198,956 in 12 starts, finishing on the board in nine of those.
Ready to challenge is Arthur Hancock III's lightly raced homebred Pinpoint, winner of an allowance at Keeneland in his last trip, and victorious prior to that in a maiden special weight contest at Gulfstream in just his second start. He was unraced at two.
Hancock bred the dark bay son of Peaks and Valleys
at his Stone Farm near Paris, Ky., birthplace of dual-classic winner Sunday Silence. Nick Zito, who will saddle three runners in the Preakness later on the card, conditions the colt for Hancock and gives last year's leading rider by wins, Rafael Bejarano, the mount.
The early-running Pinpoint posted a sharp work (5f, fast, 1:01 2/5, B, 2/16) over the Keeneland main track May 14 and appears ready for the jump in class in Hancock's gray and yellow silks. Bejarano will guide him from post seven, carrying 118 pounds.
Linda Gaudet's Monster Chaser, by Meadow Monster
, on the board in 10 of 11 starts; New Farm's Smokescreen, by Smoke Glacken
, with Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey up; and Arnold Heft's winner of two straight, Sunshine Stalker, by Storm Creek
add intrigue as well.Sir Barton Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1-1/16 miles, $100,000, Appx. Post Time 4:20 PM EST.
PP--Horse, Jockey, Weight
1--Monster Chaser, Richard Monterrey, 116
2--Killenaule, John Velazquez, 122
3--Russian Bay, Luis Garcia, 116
4--Reel Legend, Jose Santos, 116
5--Smokescreen, Jerry Bailey, 116
6--Sunshine Stalker, Jozbin Santana, 116
7--Pinpoint, 118, Rafael Bejarano, 118
8--B Trick, Charles Forrest, 116
9--Timely Bid, Cornelio Velasquez, 116