Pluck, winner of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs, returns Thursday after a nearly seven-month layoff when he faces nine rivals in the Grade III Commonwealth Turf.
The Commonwealth Turf is run for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 mile on the grass.
Sidelined because of bruised cannon bones after running seventh in the Grade III Transylvania at Keeneland in April, Pluck has won three of six starts on the grass and has career earnings of $727,290. Julien Leparoux has the riding assignment for trainer Graham Motion on the 7-2 morning line second choice.
The early favorite is Silver Medallion, trained by Todd Pletcher and to be ridden by John Velazquez. Back in April, he was fourth in the Grade II Coolmore Lexington Stakes. Returning from a layoff on Oct. 7, Silver Medallion ran second in an allowance race at Woodbine.
Shouldering top weight of 120 pounds will be Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Live in Joy--but he's a 15-1 morning line. Winner of the Capital City at Penn National in July, Live in Joy will break from the rail under Joel Rosario in his Churchill Downs debut for trainer Wayne Catalano.
The field for the Commonwealth Turf, with morning line:
1. Live in Joy (Rosario, 120 pounds) 15-1
2. Pluck (Leparoux, 118) 7-2
3. Silver Medallion (John Velazquez, 118) 5-2
4. Perregaux (Edgar Prado, 118) 6-1
5. Twinspired (Paco Lopez, 118) 15-1
6. Wilkinson (Garrett Gomez, 118) 5-1
7. Humble and Hungry (Jose Lezcano, 118) 12-1
8. Suntracer (Robby Albarado, 118) 12-1
9. Chalice (Javier Castellano, 118) 12-1
10. Salto (IRE) (Olivier Peslier, 118) 6-1
Will’s Wildcat (Calvin Borel, 118) 15-1
Fleet Beat (Jesus Castanon, 118) 15-1
Friends Place (Albarado, 118) 15-1
The Commonwealth will be the 11th race on Thursday’s 12-race program with an approximate post time of 5:43 p.m. ET. First post time for the Thursday card is 12:40 p.m.
--Edited Churchill Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey