Blofeld, winner of three races in three starts, in three career starts, tops a field of six entered Wednesday for Saturday night’s first running of the William Walker Stakes at six furlongs.
The $100,000 William Walker is a new race for 3-year-olds named for African-American jockey and 1877 Kentucky Derby winner William “Billy” Walker and highlights “Opening Night Presented by Stella Artois & Finlandia Vodka” that launches Kentucky Derby Week and the 38-day 2015 Spring Meet.
The William Walker will go as the seventh race at 9:05 p.m.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and guests entering through Gates 10 and 17 will be welcomed with an opportunity to walk the “Hollywood Style Red Carpet” and be interviewed by Red Carpet hosts. Dress to impress cocktail attire and fashionable headwear are encouraged. The night’s entertainment lineup will include Sam Sneed on the Plaza Stage beginning at 5:00 and Tony and the Tan Lines beginning at 8:00.
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Blofeld has not raced since he won the Nashua Stakes in November. John Velazquez, who has ridden the Quality Road colt in all of his starts, has the mount Saturday and will break from post 2.
Two other stakes winners are in the field are Cinco Charlie and Weast Hill.
Cinco Charlie, who is undefeated in two starts in Churchill Downs including a victory in last June’s Bashford Manor, is trained by Steve Asmussen. In addition to his Bashford Manor victory, Cinco Charlie has posted stakes victories at Delaware Park, Laurel, Fair Grounds and Sunland Park and was third to Blofeld in the Futurity.
Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount on Cinco Charlie and will break from post 4.
Brad Cox trains Weast Hill, who is undefeated in two starts. Winner of the Rainbow at Oaklawn in his most recent start, Weast Hill will break from post 5 and be ridden by Jesus Castanon.
The field for the William Walker, from the rail out (with jockey and weight): Henry Jones (James Graham, 118 pounds), Blofeld (Velazquez, 123), Senor Grits (Julien Leparoux, 118), Cinco Charlie (Santana Jr., 120), Weast Hill (Castanon, 118) and Holiday Camp (Miguel Mena, 118).
Edited Churchill Downs release