LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Godolphin’s Speaker’s Corner, a Grade I winner in this year’s Carter Handicap (GI), tops a competitive field of 10 older horses that were entered in Saturday’s 30th running of the $300,000 Ack Ack (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
The one-mile 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.
Trained by Bill Mott, Speaker’s Corner arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning from his main base at Saratoga Race Course. The 4-year-old son of Street Sense is a three-time graded stakes winner. He previously won the Fred Hooper (GIII) and Gulfstream Park Mile (GII) earlier this year. Three starts ago, Speaker’s Corner finished third to the world’s top-rated horse, Flightline, in the Metroplitan Handicap. In his last start, Speaker’s Corner was the even-money favorite in the Pat O’Brien (GII) but faded to fourth after dueling on the pace in the early stages of the Aug. 27 race. Junior Alvarado will have the mount in the Ack Ack and will break from the rail.
Other accomplished horses that entered the Ack Ack include Juddmonte’s three-time Grade III winner Fulsome; Joe Peacock’s 2020 Springboard Mile winner Senor Buscador; Ed and Susie Orr’s Grade III winner Silver Prospector; David Miller’s Knicks Go winner Three Technique; Carl Moore Management’s Fort Larned Stakes winner Twilight Blue; and Team Valor International’s multiple graded stakes placed Untreated.
|Ack Ack GIII, Race 9, post 4:55 PM ET|
|1 Speaker’s Corner Junior Alvarado Bill Mott 1/1|
|2 Untreated John Velazquez Todd Pletcher 9/1|
|3 Fulsome Florent Geroux Brad Cox 5-1|
|4 Surly Furious Luis Saez Glenn Wismer 20-1|
|5 Three Technique Rafael Bejarano Jason Cook 12-1|
|6 Silver Prospector Ricardo Santana Jr. Steve Asmussen 12-1|
|7 Injunction Gerardo Corrales Carlo Vaccarezza 10-1|
|8 Senor Buscador Francisco Arrieta Todd Fincher 12-1|
|9 Mailman Money Gabe Saez Bret Calhoun 30-1|
|10 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.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Jockey Florent Geroux and agent Doug Bredar have split after 13 years together. Geroux will be represented by John Panagot after this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. … Jockey Adam Beschizza has hired a new agent. He’ll now be represented by Joe Paulley. Beschizza was previously represented by Liz Morris. … Jockey Tyler Gaffalione served a one-day suspension Wednesday for a whip violation. He returned Thursday. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday and preview Saturday’s Lukas Classic (GII) and Ack Ack Stakes (GIII). The one-hour program will air on ESPN 680/105.7 and stream live on the station’s website at www.espnlouisville.com. … For more information about the Churchill Downs September Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo of Speaker’s Corner winning the 2022 Carter by Dom Napolitano