Simmard was assigned high weight in the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs at 1 1/2 miles May 26, and it’s easy to see why. The 7-year-old Dixieland Band horse, who will carry 120 pounds, has started three times this year, all in grade II stakes on turf, and has finished in the top three in all of them.
Trained by Roger Attfield and campaigned by him and William Werner, Simmard began the year with a score in the Mac Diarmida Stakes at Gulfstream Park and then finished third in both the Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream and the Elkhorn Stakes at Keeneland. In his only start at Churchill, Simmard ran fifth in the 2009 River City Handicap (gr. IIIT).
The Louisville Handicap for 3-year-olds and up is the 10th race on Saturday’s card and is scheduled for 5:25 p.m. EDT.
Cease, a son of War Chant owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, is the only other contestant boasting a stakes win this year. Trained by Albert Stall Jr., Cease won the Maxxam Gold Cup Handicap two races back. He then finished a distant fourth in the Ben Ali Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland.
Tahoe Lake, second behind Point of Entry in the Elkhorn in his last start, was beaten 1 1/2 lengths in that 1 1/2-mile stakes. The Brazilian-bred son of Know Heights began the year with a runner-up effort in a Keeneland allowance race.
Joinem and Harrods Creek go into the Louisville Handicap off graded stakes-placed efforts. Joinem, a son of Johar raced by Henry B. Pabst Trust, ran third in the Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Harrods Creek, by Langfuhr , finished third in the San Juan Capistrano Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park at a distance of about 1 3/4 miles. He races for Hiram Polk Jr. and J. David Richardson.
Derby Kitten is trying to get back on a winning note. The son of Kitten's Joy captured last year’s Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) and the Ontario Derby but has finished unplaced in four starts this year for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey.
$100,000 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 10, 5:25 EDT), 3-Year-Olds and Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse Jockey Weight Trainer
1. Cease, B J Hernandez Jr., 116, A M Stall Jr.
2. Tahoe Lake, M R Cruz , 118, K G McPeek
3. Rescue Squad, V Lebron, 116, C R McGaughey III
4. Harrods Creek, M Mena, 117, W I Mott
5. Joinem, C H Borel, 116, D M Carroll
6. Depeche Chat, M Pedroza, 113, G R Arnold II
7. Simmard, G Saez, 120, R L Attfield
8. Derby Kitten, J K Court, 115, M J Maker