Update: Chitu will be scratched and go straight to the Kentucky Derby.
Spot, winner of the Swale Stakes, cuts back to a single turn and will meet the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Chitu and Bayern and a host of others in the Derby Trial on Saturday night at Churchill Downs.
The one-mile Derby Trial highlights the opening night of the 38-day Spring Meet.
Conditioned by Nick Zito, Spot finished seventh in the Florida Derby in his most recent start. John Velazquez has the mount on Spot, who will break from post 9.
All eyes will be on Chitu, who hasn’t been ruled out of running in the Kentucky Derby seven days later. The winner of the Sunland Derby in his most recent start, Chitu has won three of four starts with his lone setback coming in a runner-up finish in the Robert B. Lewis. Joel Rosario will ride Chitu, who will break from post 2.
Bayern, currently on the outside looking in on the Derby points leaderboard, won his first two starts at Santa Anita before finishing third as the favorite in the Arkansas Derby in his stakes debut following a layoff. Rosie Napravnik will ride Bayern and break from post 1.
The field for the Derby Trial, from the rail out: Bayern (Napravnik, 118 pounds), Chitu (Rosario, 123), Big Sugar Soda (Ricardo Santana Jr., 118), Friendswith K Mill (Kent Desormeaux, 118), Matador (Julien Leparoux, 118),Embellishing Bob (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Laddie Boy (Stewart Elliott, 118), Bitters ‘n Bourbon (Corey Lanerie, 118), Spot (Velazquez, 120) and Myositis Dan (Joe Rocco Jr., 118).
Scheduled as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program, post time for the Derby Trial is 10:01 p.m. ET with first post being 6:00.
The Derby Trial carried Kentucky Derby points in 2013 but does not this year.
Edited Churchill Downs release with additional content by Dick Downey