Saturday's 80th running of the $100,000-added Derby Trial (gr. III) at Churchill Downs is expected to attract a field of eight to 10 3-year-olds and the race could feature a colt that is considered a major contender for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).The one-mile race is the final major prep for the 130th renewal of the "Run for the Roses" on Saturday, May 1. The Trial is the centerpiece of a 10-race card that will open the Louisville, Ky. track's 53-day spring meet, which runs from April 24-July 5.The "possible" Derby contender is Mercedes Stable and Madeleine Paulson's Rock Hard Ten, who finished third via disqualification in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and may not make the Kentucky Derby because of insufficient earnings in graded stakes races. Trainer Jason Orman said Wednesday that he and the owners were discussing the possibility of running in the Trial. Entries are due Thursday.
While Rock Hard Ten remains on the fence, at least eight other 3-year-olds appear to be likely starters in the opening day feature. That group is headed by Heiligbrodt Racing's Bwana Charlie, who has crafted a three-race winning streak that includes the Lafayette (gr. III) at Keeneland, and the Bob Baffert- trained duo of James McIngvale's Courageous Act and James Helzer's Bornwithit.Other likely starters include Overbrook Farm's Quick Action, Roger Attfield and William Werner's Honolua Storm, Tracy Farmer's Sir Shackleton, and Windmill Manor Farm's Yankee Mon. Other possible starters include John A. Fike's Capac and John C. Oxley's Stalwart Memory.