Friday, May 06, 2011
One year ago, WinStar Farm's Doubles Partner scored his first career stakes victory at Churchill Downs in the American Turf (G2) on the Kentucky Oaks undercard. This Saturday, May 7, he returns to the Louisville track in search of a Grade 1 score in an incredibly tough renewal of the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, with every horse in the field either a graded or group stakes winner.
The nine furlong turf race drew 14 runners with three on the also-eligible list, a record in the 25 year history of the race. Doubles Partner, who drew post 8, is the 6-1 third choice in the morning line.
Doubles Partner has the advantage of being two-for-two over the Churchill Downs turf. In addition to the American Turf, he broke his maiden there in the autumn of his 2-year-old season. In two starts this year, the 4-year-old colt was beaten less than a length at Gulfstream in his seasonal debut, then came back to take the Tampa Bay S. (G3T) on March 19. He earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure in that race, matching the lifetime best he posted in the American Turf.
Trainer Todd Pletcher shipped the bay colt north from Florida less than two weeks ago, giving him one four furlong breeze over the sloppy Churchill track on May 1.
Doubles Partner is 4-1-1 in 10 starts, with earnings of $299,890. He was bred in Florida by Arthur Appleton.
The Woodford is the race prior to the Kentucky Derby (G1) and will be run at 4:45 pm ET.