Cool Conductor Favored in First Commonwealth Turf

Trainer Bill Mott, the all-time victory leader at Churchill Downs, can add another to his dazzling total under the Twin Spires when he saddles David Garner's probable favorite Cool Conductor to face 10 3-year-old rivals in Sunday's inaugural $150,000-added Commonwealth Turf.

Winner of the recent Hawthorne Derby (gr. III), the son of Stravinsky will be ridden in the 1 1/16-mile grass test by Jose Santos.

Cool Conductor has won only two races in eight starts this year, but rallied under Santos to win the 1 1/8-mile Hawthorne Derby by a neck in his most recent start. He also scored a 5 1/2-length win in a Churchill Downs allowance over yielding turf on May 16.

Between those outings he was competitve against such imposing company as possible turf champion and Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) runner-up Kitten's Joy, multiple stakes winner Prince Arch, and stakes winners Greek Sun, Simple Exchange, and Toasted. He finished a troubled fourth to Good Reward in the Storm Cat at Keeneland before his victory at Hawthorne.

A victory by Cool Conductor would lift Mott into a tie with D. Wayne Lukas for the career lead in trainer stakes wins at Churchill. Lukas leads Mott 67-66.

Cool Conductor, the 5-2 morning line favorite, has a career record of 3-1-4 in 12 races and has earned $341,846.

Other major contenders include Marie and Aaron U. Jones' Forest Grove (5-1), who invades from New Jersey for trainer Todd Pletcher, and Team Block's Fort Prado (8-1), who ships from Chicago for trainer Chris Block off a close runner-up finish in Keeneland's Storm Cat.

Adding intrigue to the field is Team Valor's Shadowland, who loomed as a Kentucky Derby contender early in the year but has not competed since a seventh-place finish to eventual Derby winner Smarty Jones in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) on April 10.

The son of Distant View makes his turf debut for new trainer Dale Romans and jockey Kieren Fallon, a six-time champion rider in Britain. Fallon will also ride favored River Belle, co-owned by Team Valor, in
Saturday's$150,000-added Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) for 3-year-old fillies.

$150,000 Commonwealth Turf, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 miles (turf)
Post/Horse (Weight), Jockey, ML Odds
1. Capo (114), Bill Troilo, 15-1
2. Cool Conductor (120), Jose Santos, 5-2
3. Pass Play (114), Horatio Karamanos, 10-1
4. Exploited Storm (120), Larry Melancon, 20-1
5. Alpha Capo (120), Pat Day, 8-1
6. Broadway View (114), John McKee, 8-1
7. America Alive (118), Eddie Martin, Jr., 10-1
8. Watershed Event (114), Dean Sarvis, 12-1
9. Fort Prado (118), Carlos Marquez, Jr., 6-1
10. Shadowland (114), Kieren Fallon, 6-1
11. Forest Grove (120), Brice Blanc, 5-1