Improving Sprawl Faces Tough Competition In Saturday’s Blame Stakes

Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider are hoping their improving homebred Sprawl can score his first stakes victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs, a race named in honor of his owners’ prized stallion Blame.

“I’m very thankful to train a horse like this who has such a high quality pedigree and is owned and bred by one of the most historic farms in the world,” trainer Tom Drury Jr. said.

Sprawl, a 4-year-old son of City Zip, was made the 3-1 co-second choice on the morning line in Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Blame Stakes. He’ll be making his 14th-career start and fourth start since being transferred from trainer Bill Mott to Drury.

“We were very impressed with how well he won in his last start,” Drury said. “The timing from that allowance race set up perfectly to try him in stakes company again. Hopefully he can repeat his allowance win on Saturday.”

Sprawl recorded his third career victory May 9 at Churchill Downs with a front-running 7 ¼-length win in a 1 1/16-mile conditioned allowance event. The chestnut colt tried stakes company four times while in the care of Mott and recently finished fourth by three-quarters of a length in the $150,000 Ben Ali (Grade 3) at Keeneland where he was defeated by fellow Blame rivals Silver Dust and Night Ops.

Saturday’s Blame Stakes, which will go as Race 6 with a post time of 3:18 p.m., is a prep for the $600,000 Stephen Foster (G2) on June 26 at Churchill Downs. The Stephen Foster is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Nov. 6 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Del Mar.

The Blame is one of seven stakes events on Saturday’s stellar 11-race card. The others are the $150,000 Audubon (Race 5), $150,000 Shawnee (Race 7), $150,000 Regret (G3) (Race 8), $150,000 Matt Winn (G3) (Race 9), $150,000 Aristides (Listed) (Race 10) and $110,000 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes (Race 11). The program gets underway at 12:45 p.m.

The field for the Blame (from the rail out with jockey, trainer and morning line odds):

  1. Mighty Heart (James Graham, Josie Carroll, 12-1)
  2. Sprawl (Brian Hernandez Jr., Drury, 3-1)
  3. Night Ops (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox, 5-2)
  4. Guest Suite (Manny Esquivel, Cipriano Contreras, 12-1)
  5. American Dubai (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro, 6-1)
  6. South Bend (Tyler Gaffalione, Bill Mott. 6-1)
  7. Silver Dust (Adam Beschizza, Bret Calhoun, 3-1).

Saturday’s National Weather Service forecast in Louisville calls for unseasonably mild temperatures with a high near 63 degrees and mostly cloudy skies.

The post Improving Sprawl Faces Tough Competition In Saturday’s Blame Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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