Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: May 2, 2013 -- 3:00 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky will be a busy place this Saturday, May 4. One of the graded stakes that will be contested is the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes - a 1 1/8 mile race for horses four years old and upward. A nice purse of $500,000 will be on the line as part of the Kentucky Derby undercard.

The Woodford has attracted a very strong field of nine older entries to chase down Wise Dan in race 10 on Churchill Downs' Kentucky Derby card. Post time is 4:44 PM - immediately preceding the main event of the day. Here is a look into the past performances of all the entries for this Grade 1 stakes.

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2013 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes Race Favorites

Wise Dan - How good was Wise Dan in 2012? He is the only horse since 1981 to win three Eclipse Awards in one night. He was the runaway winner in Horse of the Year, Four-year-old & up male and Male turf (3yo&up). He has won seven of eight starts dating back to October 2011 with the only blemish being a second in the Grade 1 Steven Foster at Churchill Downs in June. He entered the Maker's 46 on a four race win streak (three Grade 1 stakes included) including the Breeders' Cup Mile. To nobody's surprise Wise Dan won the Maker's 46 in impressive fashion in his only start this year! He is not a horse you want to face right now - he is the most dominant force in the sport.

Point of Entry - is one of the premier grass horses in the nation and had won five straight races with relative ease heading into the Breeders' Cup Turf where he finished second to Little Mike. His recent wins include the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic in September, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer in August, the Grade 1 Man o`War Stakes on July 14 and the Grade 2 Elkhorn on April 27. Last time out he rebounded from his second in the Breeders' Cup with a typical win in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap February 9 in his only start of 2013.

Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes 2013 | Remaining Field Entries

Jeranimo - Jeranimo returned to prominence in June with a win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile after a decent second in the race before - the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate. He was third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile August 26 - the third straight race in which he placed. After that was a slight rough patch - a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Mile and a fourth in the Grade 2 Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park November 23. His only start of 2013 resulted in a nice bounce back for Jeranimo - a win in the Grade 2 San Gabriele Stakes at Santa Anita January 13. He hasn't raced since that start but will be looking to build on his terrific win last time out.

Slim Shadey - won the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 30 to put himself on the map but didn't do much after that - a tepid eighth in the Breeders' Cup Turf, an OK fourth in the Hollywood Turf Cup and a distant sixth as favorite in the Grade 2 San Gabriel here January 13. He was a great repeat win in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion February 9 however but fell back to earth last time out with a fifth in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes.

Middie - has won two straight races last fall- an Allowance Optional Claiming here on October 6 and an impressive win in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap September 1 at Arlington Park. He went on to a fifth in the Grade 2 Fayette Stakes in October and a disappointing seventh in the Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs November 25. His only start this year resulted in a second place finish in an Allowance at Keeneland April 6.

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Optimizer - D. Wayne Lukas pupil has finished off the board in his last two starts - a fourth in the Grade 2 Oaklawn handicap April 13 and a fifth in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Handicap at Fair Grounds March 30. Before that was two impressive wins - the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap February 23 and the Grade 3 Colonel E.R. Bradley also at Fair Grounds in January. He has looked much better since his eleventh place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf and hoped he can get back to his early-2013 form this weekend.

Silver Max - He has won six of his last seven starts including the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes, the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes this year in wire-to-wire fashion, two straight minor stakes races - the Arlington Classic and the Oliver by 6 3/4 lengths at Indiana Downs - all in 2012. He hasn't been the same since the Virginia Derby however - he was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in August at Arlington Park, ninth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf mile in October and was fifth in the Grade 3 Appleton Stakes at Gulfstream March 30 after five months away. He has been very good in the past but hasn't been in the best form lately.

Swift Warrior - won the minor Win Stakes in August at Saratoga to follow a distant sixth in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Memorial in April. He enters the Woodford Reserve on a two race win streak however - the Grade 3 Tampa Bay Stakes February 16 last time out and a very nice win in the Grade 3 John B. Connally Turf Cup at Sam Houston January 26 in wire-to-wire fashion. Before that was an OK fourth in the Grade 3 River City Handicap November 25 at Churchill Downs and an ugly eighth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland October 6. He enters in the best form of his career this weekend after two straight graded stakes wins and promises to be a threat to the field.

Bim Bam - Steve Asmussen trained entry is coming off a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Handicap march 30 after a good second in the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap and a decent third in the Grade 3 Colonel E.R. Bradley Handicap - all results this year at Fair Grounds. He is a veteran of 32 career starts with five wins, seven seconds and seven third place finishes.

2013 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes Entries & Odds

Race 10 on Churchill Downs' Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:44 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Middie F. Torres P. Oliver
2 Slim Shadey (GB) G. Stevens S. Callaghan
3 Optimizer J. Rosario D. Lukas
4 Silver Max R. Albarado D. Romans
5 Swift Warrior J. Castellano J. Terranova, II
6 Jeranimo R. Bejarano M. Pender
7 Bim Bam R. Santana, Jr. R. Moquett
8 Wise Dan J. Lezcano C. LoPresti
9 Point of Entry J. Velazquez C. McGaughey III

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OTB Schedule - Friday, Sep 30

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Australia A 10:20 PM
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Batavia Downs 6:14 PM
Belmont Park 1:31 PM
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Charles Town 7:00 PM
Daytona Beach Eve 7:25 PM
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Penn National 6:00 PM
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Red Mile 7:00 PM
Remington Park 8:07 PM
Retama Park 7:45 PM
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Will Rogers Downs 1:01 PM
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