Saturday's one-turn race will serve as Unshaded's prep for another try at the Stephen Foster."We were glad to get him in a race at the one-turn mile," Wilkes said. "He's been really sharp in his training and we think it will suit him well." Unshaded will start from post four under Jon Court.
Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Unshaded kicked off his 4-year-old campaign with a victory over Da Devil in a Churchill Downs allowance race on May 17 last year. Trainer Carl Nafzger now brings him back to begin his 5-year-old season a year and a day later in a optional claiming/allowance race at Churchill."I really believe he is training better than ever," assistant trainer Ian Wilkes said. "His action appears to be better and we're looking forward to seeing him run." Unshaded will face six rivals in the mile test in making his first start since finishing sixth in the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) last July. He began his 2001 campaign off a similar layoff in a 1 1/16-mile race that marked his only win of the year. He followed that up with off-the-board finishes in each of the Stephen Foster (gr. II), Suburban (gr. II), and Whitney Handicaps.