January 21, 2019

Options abound for horseplayers in 14-horse Kentucky Jockey Club

Givemeamint preparing for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar (c) Cecilia Gustavsson/Horsephotos.com

With no stand out among 14 entrants, Saturday’s $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs certainly can be labeled as contentious. The 1 1/16-mile race serves as a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifier, offering a total of 17 points to the top four finishers, and will have ramifications for Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager this weekend with six runners among the 23 individual interests.

Givemeaminit arguably possesses top credentials despite still being a maiden from four starts, recording a neck third in the Hopeful (G1) and a non-threatening fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). Trained by Dallas Stewart, the Louisiana-bred son of Star Guitar will be running late with Brian Hernandez Jr.

Tiz Mischief will attract support after breaking his maiden the third time out for Dale Romans, overcoming a disastrous start to win going away in his two-turn debut at Keeneland. The Into Mischief colt looks like a possible stretch factor with Robby Albarado.

After being all-out to break his maiden sprinting, Quip moved forward nicely for Rodolphe Brisset when stretching out to two turns at Keeneland, crushing allowance foes by a 6 ½-length margin. The front-running son of Distorted Humor retains the services of Florent Geroux. Gotta Go stretches out to two turns and tackles graded foes following a game tally in the October 29 Street Sense at a one-turn mile under the Twin Spires. Chris Landeros stays aboard the Ian Wilkes pupil.

Lone Sailor just missed last time, finishing a head second in the Street Sense, and overcame a slow start to grab third in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1). Tom Amoss trains the son of Majestic Warrior and Channing Hill takes over the reins. Enticed completes the Pool 1 sextet. A sharp first-out winner in the slop, the Kiaran McLaughlin charge didn’t appear comfortable in the early stages of the Champagne (G1) but managed to get up late for third in a useful performance. By Medaglia d’oro and out of the multiple Grade 1-winning It’s Tricky, the dark bay colt keeps Junior Alvarado up.

Other contenders include Diamond King, who invades from Parx with a 2-for-2 record; Arrival, an $800,000 son of Tapit who stepped forward with a convincing maiden tally in his fifth start for Mark Casse; Promises Fulfilled, a winner in both starts sprinting for Romans; High North, who graduated at Keeneland for Bard Cox after finishing second to well-regarded Avery Island in a September 30 maiden at Belmont Park; unbeaten Reride, who goes turf to dirt for Steve Asmussen; Peppered, who exits a runner-up as the odds-on favorite in the Grey (G3) at Woodbine; Breeders’ Futurity runner-up and Street Sense third-placer Bravazo.