McPeek Hopes Eagle Soars in Derby Trial

The Churchill Downs spring meet begins Saturday with the $100,000-added Derby Trial (gr. III), the final prep for the May 5 Derby. The race is being used by trainer Ken McPeek to determine whether Gift Of The Eagle will be sent back in the classic one week later.

"He needs to win -- and maybe impressively," said McPeek. "He's doing well and he'll be facing a different caliber horse than maybe what he's been running against, so we'll see."

Gift Of The Eagle has a record of 2-3-2 in 11 races with earnings of $185,770.

Dream Run is the morning-line favorite at 3-1, with Meetyouathebrig listed as the second choice at 9-2.

The field for the Derby Trial, in order of post position, includes: American Century, 117, Jose Santos; Firstatedeposit, 117, Jon Court; Wedlock, 117, Jerry Bailey; Golden Tangle, 119, Abel Castellano; Meetyouathebrig, 122, Robby Albarado; Gift Of The Eagle, 114, Smith; Dream Run, 114, Pat Day; One By The Knows, 119, Mark Guidry; Radical Riley, 122, Calvin Borel; Gail's Drive, 114, Tim Doocy; and Silvertongue Fox, 114, Jorge Chavez.