05/20/2010 12:00AM

Accredit merits edge on class


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Mike Maker and Jeff Talley are unofficial leaders in the Trackside brigade, that small band of comrades whose stables are isolated a few miles away from more important goings-on at Churchill Downs.

The fraternal aura that goes with being based at the Trackside training center often finds Maker and Talley hanging out together, whether working in the morning or watching races in the afternoon, with each knowing more about each other's horses than one would expect from any random set of training colleagues.

That esprit de corps abruptly ends, however, when the two are pitted against each other, as will be the case Friday at Churchill. Maker will send out his graded stakes winner Accredit as the solid favorite in the third race, a third-level optional $80,000 claimer, while Talley counters with the comebacking Loch Dubh.

The race is one of three allowances on an 11-race program that begins at 2:45 p.m. Eastern. Accredit, with Calvin Borel to ride, will break from post 2 when he faces five other older horses in the seven-furlong race. He goes for his first victory since he captured the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on the 2009 Kentucky Derby undercard.

Another third-level optional $80,000 claimer, for fillies and mares, goes as race 10 (7:24 p.m. post), while an entry-level turf allowance that drew the deepest field on the card will serve as the nightcap at 7:54 p.m.

Maker left his longtime position as a D. Wayne Lukas assistant to open his own stable in 2003, the same year Talley began training after years in the lawn-care business. While Maker has become highly prominent on the Kentucky circuit and elsewhere, with his horses earning more than $4.4 million last year, Talley wins his share while remaining more under the radar. Although he expects Loch Dubh to run well off a 13-month layoff, Talley said he wouldn't be surprised to see Maker visiting the winner's circle.

"Maker's got the 3-5 in there, doesn't he?" he asked, referring to Accredit, who is 7-5 on the track's morning line. "My horse is doing great, but I'd say we're up against it because of the layoff."

An uncoupled pair trained at Keeneland by Charlie Lopresti also merit respect, as both Parioli's Trick and Here Comes Ben won their last start.