Multiple Grade 3 winner Warrior’s Charge, elevated to first via disqualification in the Aug. 22 Philip H. Iselin (G3) at Monmouth Park, tops a field of 13 in Saturday’s $100,000 Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old colt will make his final prep for an expected start in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 7.
Owned by Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables, the Brad Cox-trained Warrior’s Charge finished a close fourth when making his stakes debut in the 2019 Preakness (G1). He came back from a seven-month layoff to capture an allowance at Fair Grounds in mid-December and opened 2020 with a victory in the Razorback (G3) at Oaklawn Park.
Following a second in the Oaklawn H. (G2), Warrior’s Charge recorded a fourth in the Met Mile (G1) at Belmont Park. The Florida-bred son of Munnings was placed first in the 1 1/16-mile Iselin after being interfered with in the stretch by Pirate’s Punch, who came back to easily win last Sunday’s Salvator Mile (G3), and Warrior’s Charge will cut back to a one-turn mile in the Ack Ack. He drew the rail post with Florent Geroux.
Everfast, runner-up in last year’s Preakness, is eligible to improve upon a sixth in Aug. 29 Forego (G1) at Saratoga. The 4-year-old Take Charge Indy colt recorded a convincing allowance win at Saratoga two starts back for Jack Sisterson, and Everfast posted a good second to Owendale in the May 23 Blame S. in his last start at Churchill. He will break from the far outside with Julien Leparoux.
Bourbon Calling will enter on the upswing for Ian Wilkes, notching his first stakes win in the Aug. 28 Russel Road S. at Charles Town, and Brian Hernandez Jr. rides the gelding. American Anthem, third in the Carter H. (G1) at Belmont two back, is eligible to rebound from an unplaced effort in a turf stakes most recently. He makes his second start for Mike Maker on Saturday, and James Graham will be up.
Multiple Grade 3 winner Mr. Money has the back class to challenge, but will need to turn around his recent form. Other runners include Ebben, who exits a 2 1/4-length allowance tally over the track on Sept. 2, and multiple stakes scorer Pioneer Spirit.