Veteran Channel Maker Aims To Defend G2 Elkhorn Title

April 19, 2023

Channel Maker captures last year’s edition of the Elkhorn (Coady Photography)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s defending champion Channel Maker, who won the 2020 Eclipse Award as North America’s champion turf male, headlines a field of 10 4-year-olds and up entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 38th running of the $350,000 Elkhorn (G2) going 1½ miles on the turf.

The Elkhorn will go as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 4:44 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.

Trained by Bill Mott, Channel Maker will attempt to become the fourth horse to win the Elkhorn in consecutive years. The others were Musketier (GER) in 2010 and 2011, Kim Loves Bucky in 2002 and 2003 and the Mott-trained African Dancer in 1998 and 1999.

Seventh in the W.L. McKnight (G3) in his 2023 debut, Channel Maker will be ridden Saturday by John Velazquez and break from post position one.

Red Knight victorious in the Sycamore in 2020 (Coady Photography)

Trinity Farm’s Red Knight, who won the W.L. McKnight in his most recent start, will be one of two entries in the Elkhorn for four-time race winner Mike Maker.

Red Knight, who won the 2020 Sycamore (G3) here in the fall of 2020, will be ridden by Gerardo Corrales and break from post five.

Maker, who won the Elkhorn with Dark Cove (2013), Da Big Hoss (2016), Bigger Picture (2019) and Zulu Alpha (2020), also will send out Michael Hui’s Value Engineering.

Winner of the Mac Diarmida (G2) in his most recent start after a runner-up finish in the McKnight, Value Engineering will break from post two under Tyler Gaffalione.

The field for the Elkhorn, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Channel Maker (Velazquez, 118 pounds), Value Engineering (Gaffalione, 120), Rising Empire (Florent Geroux, 118), Another Mystery (Jareth Loveberry, 118), Red Knight (Corrales, 120), Shawdyshawdyshawdy (Adam Beschizza, 118), Howe Street (Flavien Prat, 118), Highest Honors (Irad Ortiz Jr., 118), Verstappen (Declan Cannon, 118), Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118).

@PastTheWire I got out with Dupree @OaklawnRacing on backend of DD that paid 7-1. Nice pick!

Greg Kilka @GKilka View testimonials