Divisidero (Kitten’s Joy) and jockey Edgar Prado win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Gr I) in 2016
Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero will face 11 rivals Saturday as he bids to repeat in the $ 500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade I), one of seven graded stakes on the 14-race program that is highlighted by the 143rd running of the $ 2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
The 31st edition of Woodford Reserve Turf Classic that is run at 1 1/8 miles, will go as the 11th race with a 5:25 p.m. (all times Eastern) post time. First post time Saturday is 10:30 a.m.
Other stakes on the Derby Day card include the 31st running $ 300,000 Humana Distaff (GI) for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up going seven furlongs on the main track, the 83rd running $ 500,000 Churchill Downs (GII) for 4-year-olds and up going seven furlongs on the main track, 32nd running $ 300,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) Presented by Longines for fillies and mares 4-years-old and up, the 26th running $ 300,000 American Turf (GII) Presented by Ram Trucks for 3-year-olds and the 93rd running of the $ 250,000 Pat Day Mile (GIII) Presented by LG&E and KU for 3-year-olds on the main track.
Trained by Buff Bradley, Divisidero could become the third horse to win back-to-back runnings of the race joining Einstein (BRZ) in 2008-09 and Wise Dan in 2013-14. Second in his most recent start at Keeneland, Divisidero is undefeated on the Matt Winn Turf Course, having taken the 2015 American Turf (GII).
Julien Leparoux will have the mount on Divisidero and break from post position two.
Chief challengers to Divisidero figure to be West Coast invader Bal a Bali (BRZ) and the 1-2-3 finishers from the Muniz Memorial Handicap (GII): Enterprising, Kasaqui (ARG) and Oscar Nominated.
Calumet Farm’s Bal a Bali comes to Kentucky off a victory in the Frank J. Kilroe (GI) Mile on March 11. Trained by Richard Mandella, Bal a Bali is a multiple Group I winner in Brazil. Javier Castellano has the mount and will break from post position six.
Mike Maker trains Enterprising for Maxis Stable and Oscar Nominated for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. A three-time graded-stakes winner, Enterprising will break from post position nine and be ridden by Flavien Prat. Mike Smith has the call on Oscar Nominated, a 6 ¼-length winner of last year’s Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs.
Wimborne Farm’s Kasaqui, second in the Arlington Million (GI) last year, is trained by Ignacio Correas IV and will be ridden by Joe Bravo.
The field for the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, with jockey and weight from the inside, is: Kasaqui (ARG) (Bravo, 120), Divisidero (Leparoux, 120), Oscar Nominated (Smith, 118), Conquest Panthera (Jose Lezcano, 118), Kaigun (John Velasquez, 120), Bal a Bali (BRZ) (Castellano, 122), World Approval (Joel Rosario, 120), Beach Patrol (Florent Geroux, 120), Enterprising (Prat, 120), Flatlined (Brian Hernandez Jr., 120), Can’thelpbelieving (IRE) (Jose Ortiz, 120) and Ballagh Rocks (Luis Saez, 118).
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