Apart, winner of the Grade II Super Derby in his most recent start, heads a field of six 3-year-olds and up entered for Friday's Grade III Ack Ack Handicap at Churchill Downs.
The Ack Ack, at 1 1/16 miles on the main track, will go as the fourth race on Friday’s 10-race card and serve as the lead-in to six Breeders’ Cup World Championship races. First post time Friday is 2:00.
Trained by Al Stall, Jr., the 3-year-old Apart broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his second start and followed that victory with a pair of allowance wins at the Louisville track. A late summer break was followed by a victory in the Prelude at Louisiana Downs, the track’s major prep for the Super Derby. The colt brings a two-race winning streak into the Ack Ack. Apart, who will break from post one, will carry 117 pounds and be ridden by Garrett Gomez.
Apart, the 2-1 morning line favorite for the Ack Ack, shares the top weight in the race with defending Ack Ack champion Demarcation. Trained by Paul McGee, Demarcation was fifth in the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap last Summer in his most recent start. Calvin Borel has the mount on Demarcation, the 5-2 second choice who will break from post four.
Another major player in the Ack Ack is Jackson Bend, the third-place finisher in the Preakness, runner-up in the Grade I Wood Memorial and twelfth to Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby. The Nick Zito trainee, a beaten favorite in the Grade III Pegasus at Meadowlands and the Star of Cozzene at Belmont Park in his last two starts, is the 4-1 third choice and will be ridden by Javier Castellano.
The field for the Ack Ack, from the rail out, is as follows: Apart (Gomez, 117 pounds), Stream Cat (James Graham, 113), Silver Edition (Mike Smith, 114), Demarcation (Borel, 117), Colizeo (Ramon Dominguez, 115) and Jackson Bend (Castellano, 115).
Noble's Promise Returns
One race prior to the Ack Ack is the $85,000-added The Jimmy V “Don’t Give Up … Don’t Ever Give Up!” overnight stakes race for 3-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track. The Jimmy V drew a field of nine and features the return of Noble’s Promise.
Noble’s Promise has not run since finishing fifth in the Group 1 St. James’s Palace Stakes at Britain’s Royal Ascot meet in June. That followed a fifth-place finish to Super Saver in the Kentucky Derby. Trained by Ken McPeek, Noble’s Promise won the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity last fall at Keeneland and is graded stakes-placed in three other races.
Julien Leparoux has the mount on Noble’s Promise, who will break from post nine. The son of Cuvee, trained by Ken McPeek, is the 9-2 third choice in the Jimmy V morning line.
The 3-1 favorite for the Jimmy V is Cool Bullet, runner-up to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile contender Thiskyhasnolimit in the Matt Winn at Churchill Downs in May and winner of the $100,000 Rumson at Monmouth Park. He is racing for the first time since July 4, when he finished last of six to Discreetly Mine in Monmouth’s Grade III Jersey Shore. Shawn Bridgmohan will ride Cool Bullet for trainer Steve Margolis.
Also expected to attract fan support is Bulldogger, a son of Dixie Union with two wins in four starts for trainer Bob Baffert. Bulldogger, the 4-1 second choice, is coming off a sixth-place finish to Discreetly Mine in the Grade I King’s Bishop on Aug. 28 at Saratoga. Martin Garcia will ride Bulldogger.
Noble’s Promise is one of two veterans of the 2010 Kentucky Derby in the Jimmy V field. Backtalk, a Tom Amoss trainee who finished last of 20 in the Derby field, finished second in a Remington Park allowance race in his most recent start. Rafael Bejarano will ride the son of Smarty Jones, who is 6-1 in the morning line.
The field for the Jimmy V, from the rail out, is as follows: Backtrack (James Graham), Cool Bullet (Shaun Bridgmohan), Don’t Put It Back (Larry Sterling Jr.), Don Tito (Joel Rosario), Latigo Shore (John Velazquez), Backtalk (Rafael Bejarano), Bulldogger (Martin Garcia), Close to the Edge (Ramon Dominguez) and Noble’s Promise (Leparoux). All starters will carry 116 pounds.
(Edited from track notes)