Grade 1 winner Denman's Call will make his first start outside of California when he faces a field of 14 going seven furlongs in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes Presented by TwinSpires.com (G2) May 6.
The 4-year-old Northern Afleet gelding enters the race off of a one-length score in the seven-furlong Triple Bend Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park March 11. Owned by Gilman Racing, Westside Rentals.com, and W. C. Racing, and trained by Doug O'Neill, Denman's Call has two wins in his eight-race career. He has finished third in his other two attempts this year, allowance/optional claiming races, both of which have been sprints at Santa Anita.
One length behind Denman's Call in the Triple Bend Stakes was Masochistic, who is also entered in the May 6 race at Churchill Downs. Owned by Los Pollos Hermanos Racing and Jay Em Ess Stable, the 7-year-old Sought After gelding is making his second start since running second (but was disqualified to seventh) in the Nov. 5 TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1). The Ron Ellis trainee won two other races last year, including the grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes.
Entering off of a grade 3 score is Live Oak Plantation's homebred Awesome Slew. The 4-year-old Awesome Again colt, trained by Mark Casse, was a 1 1/2-length winner last time out in the Commonwealth Stakes (G3) at Keeneland April 8. In that seven-furlong test, the colt bested fellow Churchill Downs Stakes entrant Limousine Liberal, who ran third. Awesome Slew has placed in his other two tries this year, including running second in the Hardacre Mile Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2).
The Dallas Stewart-trained and GMB Racing-owned Tom's Ready makes his first start since a fifth-place finish in the Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Last year the More Than Ready colt won the Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill and the Woody Stephens (G2) after finishing off the board in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1).
Zayat Stables' El Kabeir will look to find his way to the winner's circle after six attempts without a win. Most recently the Bill Mott-trained Scat Daddy horse finished second in a March 16 allowance at Gulfstream Park. He will to get back to his 3-year-old form, when he won the Gotham Stakes and Jerome Stakes (both G3).
Also entered is Gary Barber's grade 3 winner Solid Wager, who comes off a third in the Feb. 26 Tiznow Stakes at Santa Anita, and Brittlyn Stable's Clearly Now, a grade 3 winner, who enters off a 4 1/2-length score in an allowance race April 1 at Gulfstream.