Buckram Oak Farm's homebred Eurosilver will return to the track after a seven-month layoff in Thursday's $100,000 Perryville Stakes--Presented by Budweiser at Keeneland for 3-year-olds. The colt will join nine others going seven furlongs and 184 feet.
Eurosilver was considered a major contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) this spring before he was sent to the sidelines in late March after suffering a glandular infection in his neck. Formerly trained by Nick Zito, Eurosilver will be making first start with trainer Carl Nafzger. In his last outing he finished a head behind Wynn Dot Comma in the Swale Stakes (gr. III) at Grand Prairie March 13. Javier Castellano, who piloted Eurosilver in four of five career starts, will be aboard Thursday.
The Kentucky bred son of Unbridled's Song
out of the Nijinsky II mare Russian Tango, has had previous success at Keeneland's fall meeting; his biggest career win came with a 4 3/4-length score over Tiger Hunt in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) last October. The colt now has three victories and two seconds and has earned $335,600.
Eurosilver will break from post two.
Stan Fulton's Fire Slam, coming off a sixth-place finish in the King Bishop (gr. I) at Saratoga, will break from post 10 under Keeneland's all-time leading jockey Pat Day, who has been aboard the colt in his last five outings. David Carroll conditions the son of Grand Slam, who broke his maiden at Keeneland and ran second there in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) last April.
Bred in Kentucky by Julie Jones Mogge, Fire Slam has notched four wins -- all in stakes company -- this year. Those victories include the Riva Ridge Breeders Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont and the Lecomte Stakes (gr. III) at Fair Grounds. Fire Slam has earnings of $653,751.
Pulling off a second-place finish in the King Bishop (gr. I) in his previous start, Joseph Balsamo's Weigelia will make his Keeneland debut from post seven. Trained by Manny Azpurua, Weigelia, has run in three straight graded races. The 3-year-old son of Safely's Mark has three wins this year including the Carry Back Stakes (gr. III) at Calder Race Course. He now has five wins from 13 starts.
Shelley Huber bred Weigelia in Florida. Jockey Robby Albarado will be in the irons for the first time.
After Level Playingfield claimed victory in the Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park Sept. 18, trainer Bob Holthus planned to run him next in the Woodford County Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 22, but has opted for the Perryville instead. John McKee, who has been aboard for all three of his 2004 victories, has the call.Perryville Stakes, Keeneland, $100,000, about seven furlongs, 3-year-olds, Thursday, Oct. 14, post time: 4:45 p.m. EDT
PP – Horse, Weight, Jockey
1 – Wimplestiltskin, 117, Jesus Lopez Castanon
2 – Eurosilver, 123, Javier Castellano
3 – Two Down Automatic, 120, Mark Guidry
4 – Colonel Day, 117, Calvin Borel
5 – Commentator, 117, Rafael Bejarano
6 – Mass Media, 120, Edgar Prado
7 – Weigelia, 123, Robby Albarado
8 – Level Playingfield, 123, John McKee
9 – Caiman, 117, Willie Martinez
10 – Fire Slam, 123, Pat Day