LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Juddmonte’s multiple graded stakes winner Fulsome will attempt to tally his third victory at Churchill Downs in Saturday’s $300,000 Ack Ack, and trainer Brad Cox hopes the 4-year-old Into Mischief colt will have a good pace set-up in the one-mile event.
Fulsome has won eight races in his career and most recently closed from three lengths off the early fractions in the $200,000 West Virginia Governors Stakes (GIII) to defeat seven rivals by 1 ¼ lengths. This will be Fulsome’s first start at one turn and his first time running a distance of one mile since his victory four starts ago in the $400,000 Oaklawn Mile (GIII).
“I think he does his best running when he has pace to close into as his previous races have shown,” Cox said. “I think this race should set up for him well and he’s entering this race in great form. We’ve tried him in some tough spots as a 3-year-old and even in this year’s Alysheba where he lost to some top older horses. He likes this racetrack at Churchill. He dug in to win a tough allowance race during the Spring Meet and was impressive in last year’s Matt Winn as well.”
Fulsome will be reunited with jockey Florent Geroux, who was in the saddle for his aforementioned Matt Winn victory. The duo will break from post No. 3 at odds of 5-1.
Godolphin’s Grade I winning colt Speaker’s Corner was made the even-money morning line choice by oddsmaker Mike Battaglia. The 4-year-old son of Street Sense trained early Thursday morning at Churchill Downs under the watchful eye of Mott’s longtime assistant Kenny McCarthy. Jockey Junior Alvarado will be in town from New York to ride and break from the rail. The speedy Speaker’s Corner has never drawn the rail in his 12-race career.
The Ack Ack is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI). The winning horse will receive an entry-fees paid berth to the Nov. 5 race at Keeneland along with a travel stipend if the winning horse is based outside of Kentucky.
The Ack Ack was carded as Race 9 of 11 with a post time of 4:55 p.m. (all times Eastern). The race will share the Saturday spotlight with the $500,000 Lukas Classic (GIII), which will go as Race 10 at 5:26 p.m. The first race is 12:45 p.m.
Here is the Ack Ack field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Speaker’s Corner (Alvarado, Mott, 1-1); Untreated (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 9-2); Fulsome (Geroux, Cox, 5-1); Surly Furious (Luis Saez, Glenn Wismer, 20-1); Three Technique (Rafael Bejarano, Jason Cook, 12-1); Silver Prospector (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 12-1); Injunction (Gerardo Corrales, Carlo Vaccarezza, 10-1); Senor Buscador (Francisco Arrieta, Todd Fincher, 12-1); Mailman Money (Gabe Saez, Bret Calhoun, 30-1); and Twilight Blue (Brian Hernandez Jr., Joe Sharp, 12-1).
The Ack Ack Stakes is named after the 1971 Horse of the Year. That same year, Ack Ack also received championship honors as Champion Older Horse and Champion Sprinter. As a 3-year-old, Ack Ack won the 1969 Derby Trial – his lone start at Churchill Downs – in 1:34.40, which was a track record at the time for the one-mile distance.
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo: Fulsome wins the G3 West Virginia Governors Stakes (Coady Photography)
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