LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A field of ten top older grass runners will go to post in the 34th running of the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI), one of six graded stakes that will precede Saturday’s 146th running of the $3 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).
The 14-race program begins at 11 a.m. (all times Eastern) and will culminate the Derby that is scheduled for a 7:02 p.m. post time.
Other stakes on the Derby Day program are the 34th running of the $500,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Derby City Gaming (GI) for fillies and mares going seven furlongs on the main track, the 35th running of the $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (GII) for fillies and mares, the 96th running of the 500,000 Pat Day Mile presented by LG&E and KU (GII) for 3-year-olds, the 29th running of the $500,000 American Turf presented by Smithfield (GII) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the grass and the 39th running of the $200,000 Iroquois presented by Ford (GIII) for 2-year-olds going a mile on the main track.
Gaining Ground Racing’s Factor This, riding a four-race win streak, and Skychai Racing and Sand Dollar Stable’s Somelikeithotbrown, winner of the Bernard Baruch (GII) at Saratoga in his most recent start, will be the starting top weights with 124 pounds.
Trained by Brad Cox, Factor This counts the GII Wise Dan at Churchill Downs among his scores in his win streak. Shaun Bridgmohan, who has been aboard for all of those victories, has the call Saturday and will break from post one.
Somelikeithotbrown, trained by Mike Maker, has placed in four other graded stakes on turf and in his lone race over the Matt Winn Turf Course finished third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI). Tyler Gaffalione, who was aboard for the victory in the Baruch, has the call Saturday and will break from post position nine.
The field for the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic, with riders and weights from the rail out, is:
1. Factor This (Bridgmohan, 124 pounds)
2. Bowies Hero (Florent Geroux, 119)
3. Rockemperor (IRE) (John Velazquez, 119)
4. Digital Age (IRE) (Javier Castellano, 119)
5. Dontblamerocket (Julien Leparoux, 119)
6. Mr Dumas (Manny Franco, 119)
7. True Valour (IRE) (Rafael Bejarano, 119)
8. Sacred Life (FR) (Paco Lopez, 119)
9. Somelikeithotbrown (Gaffalione, 124)
10. Spectacular Gem (James Graham, 119)
The Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic that will go as the day’s 13th race with a 5:50 p.m. ET post time.
Complete stats available on Equibase
Photo: Somelikeithotbrown wins the 2020 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga. Credit: Coglianese Photos/Susie Raisher