Eight 3-year-olds have been entered in the 1 1/8-mile test. Among Tizdejavu's main rivals is last year's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) winner at Keeneland, Wicked Style.
A colt by Tiznow (sire of Belmont Stakes winner Da' Tara), the Kentucky-bred Tizdejavu made his grass debut in the American Turf for trainer Greg Fox after winning once in four starts on Polytrack surfaces to begin his career. He won that day over a yielding course while holding off favored Sailor's Cap in the last strides by a neck. Garrett Gomez has the return engagement aboard the bay, who totes high weight of 121 and breaks from post four.
Tizdejavu was bred and is owned by Michael Cooper and Pamela Ziebarth. He sports the same silks as his sire did in winning back-to-back Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) championships and Horse of the Year honors in 2000. Ziebarth is the daughter of Cecilia Straub-Rubens, who owned Tiznow. Cooper was the racing manager and financial advisor for Straub-Rubens, who died in 2000, three days after Tiznow won his first Breeders' Cup event.
Out of the Dixie Brass mare Remember When, Tizdejavu has a record of 2-2-1 in five starts and earnings of $1437,315.
Neither Sailor's Cap nor Nistle's Crunch, the close third-place finisher in the American Turf, was entered for the Jefferson Cup.
Ashbrook Farm's Wicked Style returned from an absence of nearly seven months to make his turf debut in a one-mile allowance heat at Churchill Downs May 21. The Macho Uno colt finished a lackluster fifth as the choice after steadying early. Julien Leparoux gets the call for the first time aboard the Rusty Arnold trainee, who should show improvement this time.
Wicked Style injured a shin late in his 2-year-old campaign. Before that, he won the Breeders' Futurity on Keeneland's Polytrack, going gate to wire for a 3 1/4-length triumph. Wicked Style returned to finish 10th in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) three weeks later and had been sidelined until his comeback race last month.
Richard Bertram and Elaine Klein's Go West Bert takes a big step here for trainer Steve Margolis after a 14 1/4-length win over five rivals in an off-the-turf allowance race contested on the sloppy Churchill Downs' main track May 14. The son of Gone West got his maiden diploma three starts back on the grass and returned on the lawn to record a close runner-up finish to Prime Realestate in an allowance race at Keeneland April 20.
“Since we gelded him and put him on the turf, he has been a different horse,” Margolis said.
Halo Najib and Golden Yank both made their turf debuts last time out. Halo Najib, trained by Dale Romans finished fourth in the American Turf, 7 1/2 lengths behind Tizdejavu. Golden Yank was runner-up to Boss Lafitte in the one-mile USA Stakes on the Lone Star Park turf May 26 for trainer Gary Thomas.
Old Man Buck won a stakes at Churchill on a yielding turf Nov. 24, but has not raced since. The Ken McPeek-trained son of Hold That Tiger won the Miller Lite Cradle in September and returned a month later to finish third in the Breeder's Futurity, 3 1/2 lengths behind Wicked Style.
$200,000 Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 9, 5:21 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Halo Najib (FL), 117, Kent J. Desormeaux
2. Budge Man (KY), 117, Jesus Lopez Castanon
3. Wicked Style (FL), 117, Julien R. Leparoux
4. Tizdejavu (KY), 121, Garrett K. Gomez
5. Golden Yank (KY), 117, Jamie Theriot
6. Old Man Buck (KY), 119, Robby Albarado
7. Bobby Blue Eyes (KY), 117, Miguel Mena
8. Go West Bert (KY), 117, Calvin H. Borel