Champagne Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Enticed heads a Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) field strong in numbers and potential at Churchill Downs Nov. 25.
Fourteen horses are entered for the race, which carries qualifying points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby table.
Enticed had two good horses in front of him in the Champagne Stakes: the winner Firenze Fire, and the subsequent Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Good Magic.
Fresh from running fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile is Givemeaminit, who earlier finished fifth in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and third in the Hopeful Stakes (G1). If he can repeat his Breeders’ Cup form he will be right in this.
Trainer Ian Wilkes won the race last year with McCraken and he has another good chance this year in Gotta Go, winner of the Street Sense Stakes at Churchill Downs Oct. 29. He has won both his starts at Churchill Downs.
Local trainer Dale Romans has two solid chances in the race: Promises Fulfilled, who is unbeaten in two starts, and the last-start Keeneland maiden winner Tiz Mischief.
Familiar rivals Bravazo and Lone Sailor meet for the third time; they finished second and third, respectively, in the Breeders’ Futurity, and then reversed those placings in the Street Sense Stakes. Quip is entered after winning both his starts, the most recent being a six-length allowance victory at Keeneland.
Down from Canada is Peppered, whose three Woodbine starts include a runner-up finish in the Grey Stakes (G2). Churchill Downs maiden winner Arrival, unbeaten colts Reride and Diamond King, Kentucky Downs Turf Showcase Stakes runner-up John Tippmann, and Keeneland maiden winner High North complete the field.
Interestingly, six of the runners – Enticed, Givemeaminit, Gotta Go, Tiz Mischief, Quip, and Lone Sailor – have individual entries in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager, which runs until Nov. 26. Their prices will clearly come down if they win this race.
Enticed and Givemeaminit have the best graded stakes form, but as many of the contestants haven’t run at black type level it’s hard to gauge where they all stand. Keep an eye on the market, but whatever the case, there should be some good payouts.