Nine sprinters, topped by graded stakes winners Bwana Charlie and Level Playingfield, will contest Saturday's $250,000 Phoenix Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland. All starters carry 118 pounds in the six furlong test.
Trained by Steve Asmussen for Heiligbrodt Racing Stable, Bwana Charlie has won or placed in 13 of 17 career starts, with four wins to his credit. The 4-year-old son of Indian Charlie won the Amsterdam (gr. II) and Lafayette Stakes (gr. III) last year. After completing his 2004 season with a fourth, only 2 1/2 lengths behind winner and champion Speightstown, in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Bwana Charlie is winless in two starts this year.
Level Playingfield, winner of seven of 26 career starts, with 14 additional placings, comes into the Phoenix off a victory over Pheonix entrant Korbyn Gold in the Marfa Stakes over the artificial surface at Turfway Park. Trained by Robert Holthus for Fly Racing, Level Playingfield also won the 2004 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III), also at Turfway Park.
The field for the Phoenix Breeders' Cup:
1 -- Wild Tale, Mark Guidry
2 -- Danieltown, Rafael Bejarano
3 -- Korbyn Gold, Jesus Castanon
4 -- Elusive Jazz, Robby Albarado
5 -- Level Playingfield, John McKee
6 -- Bwana Charlie, Shaun Bridgmohan
7 -- Sgt. Bert, William Troilo
8 -- Fifteen Rounds, Christopher Emigh
9 -- Premium Saltine, Corey Lanerie