California Flag and Chamberlain Bridge, both expected to be major contenders for next month’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IIT), will go to battle in the $100,000 Woodford Stakes (gr. IIIT) Oct. 9 at Keeneland.
A full field of 12 and one also-eligible was drawn for the 5 1/2-furlong Woodford, which is the first of five graded races on the Keeneland card.
California Flag and Chamberlain Bridge are both expected to be among the favorites for the Nov. 6 BC Turf Sprint held at Churchill Downs, and a win in the Woodford could make one of them the morning-line favorite next month. California Flag won the BC Turf in wire-to-wire fashion last year at Santa Anita. The Hi Card Ranch homebred has made two starts in 2010 for trainer Brian Koriner, finishing third in the Al Quoz Sprint Sponsored by Emirates NBD (UAE-III) March 27 in Dubai and winning the Green Flash Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 18.
The 6-year-old gelded son of Avenue of Flags has won nine of 19 starts for earnings of more than $1.1 million. He arrived at Keeneland on Oct. 5 from his Southern California base. Joe Talamo has the mount on California Flag and they will break from post 4.
Carl Moore Management’s Chamberlain Bridge won the Woodford in 2008 and enters this season’s edition on a three-race win streak. The 6-year-old gelding by War Chant has won turf sprints at Arlington Park, Penn National, and Parx Racing since June. His win last out at Parx came in the Sept. 6 Turf Monster Handicap under Jamie Theriot, who keeps the mount for Bret Calhoun.
Michael Dubb and High Grade Racing Stable’s Silver Timber
scored last year’s Woodford as the favorite and has two more graded wins this season. Trained by Chad Brown, Silver Timber won the Shakertown (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland this spring and followed that with a course-record score in the Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs. Julien Leparoux has the mount on Silver Timber, who is perfect in both starts on the Keeneland grass.
Also in the race is Washington-bred Atta Boy Roy
, who has done his best running on dirt and will make only his second start on turf in his 22nd career effort. Atta Boy Roy has three wins in five starts this year, his biggest coming in the Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) on Kentucky Derby Day. Last out, he romped by more than five lengths at Remington Park.
$100,000 Woodford Stakes (gr. IIIT, Race 6, 3:40 p.m.), 3 & Up, 5 1/2 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Yankee Injunuity (FL), E T Baird, 118, J R McMullen
2. Ravalo (KY), K J Desormeaux, 118, D H Barr
3. Central City (FL), R Albarado, 118, R W Werner
4. California Flag (CA), J Talamo, 120, B J Koriner
5. In My Corner (FL), J McKee, 118, J Cheeks
6. Chamberlain Bridge (KY), J Theriot, 122, W B Calhoun
7. Awakino Cat (KY), R A Dominguez, 122, L Rice
8. Fiddlers Patriot (NY), J Castellano, 120, G Weaver
9. Silver Timber (NY), J R Leparoux, 124, C C Brown
10. Due Date (KY), T Farina, 118, S Margolis
11. Atta Boy Roy (WA), 5/R L C H Borel, 122, V Lund
12. Super Chunky (FL), M Franklin, 118, K M Cox
13. Great Attack (FL), G K Gomez, 116, W A Ward