Dubai: Four-year-old colts Prevalence and Santin look to consolidate some excellent form so far this year when they bid for G1 glory on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs, USA, on Saturday.
Prevalence faded to eighth in the G2 Pat Day Mile on the same fixture 12 months ago but the son of Medaglia d’Oro returns for the seven-furlong G1 Churchill Downs Stakes on the back of two convincing victories for Brendan Walsh.
After easily taking an allowance optional claimer at Gulfstream Park in March, Prevalence opened his Graded-race account with an emphatic win in the G3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland’s Spring Meet.
Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock, Godolphin USA, said: “Prevalence has done nothing but improve since the turn of the year. He is in super form and expected to put forward a big performance.
“He is now stepping up to G1-calibre competition and Brendan fully expects that he is up to the task. He has an ideal draw for his running style [stall six], and we are very optimistic that he will go close.”
Santin, also trained by Walsh, returns to G1 level for the Turf Classic having gone down by a neck on his final three-year-old appearance in the G1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar in November.
The Distorted Humor homebred remains over nine furlongs following two pleasing efforts over the same distance at Fair Ground this year, finishing a close fourth in the G3 Fair Grounds Stakes before a rallying second in the G2 Muniz Memorial Classic.
Banahan said: “Santin has had two nice runs at the Fair Grounds this spring — he is an inexperienced colt, who is learning on the job. He is coming into the race in excellent condition. We are hoping that the rain doesn’t materialise and we get a firm turf course, which he appears to prefer.
“Tyler Gaffalione believes that Prevalence has plenty more to give, hence Brendan has elected to fit him with a small pair of blinkers to aid with his focus. The Turf Classic has been his early season target and we are optimistic that he will give a very good account of himself.”
Shared Sense, a dual G3 winner for Brad Cox in 2020, also runs on the same card in the Knicks Go Stakes. The Street Sense five-year-old comfortably won an allowance optional claimer at Fair Grounds in March and ran his best race of 2021 at Churchill Downs in October, finishing third behind Knicks Go himself in the G3 Lukas Classic.
Rapidly improving filly Nostalgic attempts to provide Godolphin with a first victory in the G1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, USA, today.
The Medaglia d’Oro filly steps up to the highest level on the back of two impressive wins, including when gamely staying on up the inside rail to score in the G3 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct last month.
Trained by Bill Mott, Nostalgic powered to a near seven-length victory in a Gulfstream Park allowance optional claimer in March and also posted a wide-margin success on her debut at Belmont Park in October.
Banahan said: “Nostalgic had a nice easy breeze at Churchill Downs last Saturday, going a half-mile in 48 and change. She looks great and Bill is very pleased with how she is training up to the Oaks.
“She has earned her spot in what is being described as one of the deepest Oaks fields in living memory. Jose Ortiz is a big believer in her ability and is very excited to ride her. The distance and long stretch at Churchill should work to her advantage.”
Fellow three-year-old homebred Matareya also goes for a third straight win on dirt in the G2 Eight Belles Stakes earlier on the same card.