Mr. Light proved to be Mr. Fast this year at Gulfstream Park. Now, it's a question if he can live up to that name in Friday's Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland as he carries 117 pounds in the $250,000 race. Twelve were entered for the 17th running, but only 10 are eligible to start.
An Argentine import, Mr. Light started the year with a world-record mile of 1:31.41 on grass at the South Florida track, then took the mile Appleton Handicap (gr. IIIT) in 1:32.98 in his last outing. His expertise at Gulfstream had begun the previous year, when he started twice and won twice. But in between those two meetings were six losses in six starts at four different tracks. Cornelio Velasquez, his rider at Gulfstream this year, will be back in the saddle.
Good Reward, the 123-pound topweight, is the only one in the field boasting grade I credentials. He captured the Hollywood Derby (gr. IT) last November, but has been out only once this year, and it wasn't even on turf. He finished fourth in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) in early February at Santa Anita. A big thing in his favor is that he sports two wins in two starts over Keeneland's turf, including a score in the Storm Cat Stakes last October.
Artie Schiller, the lukewarm favorite in last year's NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), will be making both his Keeneland debut and 4-year-old debut in the Maker's Mark under second-topweight of 121 pounds. Twelfth in the Mile, Artie Schiller won four turf stakes last year, three of which were graded.
Three others entered for the Maker's Mark are turf stakes winners this year. Laura's Lucky Boy won the Thunder Road Handicap at Santa Anita, and Old Forester took the Canadian Turf Handicap at Gulfstream. America Alive captured the Col. E.R. Bradley Handicap on turf and was beaten a head while third in the Mervin Muniz Jr. Handicap (gr. IIT), both at Fair Grounds.
Post Time for the race is 5:15 p.m. EDT.
Post Horse Weight Jockey
1 Good Reward 123 John R. Velazquez
2 Artie Schiller 121 Edgar S. Prado
3 Mr. Light 117 Cornelio H. Velasquez
4 Trade Fair 117 Jerry D. Bailey
5 Salford City 117 Gary L. Stevens
6 Laura's Lucky Boy 117 Corey S. Nakatani
7 Muqbil 117 Richard Migliore
8 B. A. Way 117 Mike E. Smith
9 Cool Conductor Ramon A. Dominguez
10 Gulch Approval 117 Rafael Bejarano
AE America Alive 117 Robby Albarado
AE Old Forester 117 Javier Castellano