04/23/2013 3:53PM

Churchill Downs: Titletown Five among Derby Trial candidates

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Barbara D. Livingston
Titletown Five likely will run in Saturday night's Grade 3 Derby Trial in hopes of earning a spot in the Kentucky Derby.

Churchill Downs racing officials are expecting perhaps eight or nine starters Saturday night, when the spring meet opens with the Grade 3, $175,000 Derby Trial.

Titletown Five, the colt owned in part by football great Paul Hornung, is foremost among the prospects for the one-mile Trial, the last remaining race with Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake. The Trial winner will earn 20 points in the new qualifying system being used to determine the Derby’s 20-horse field. Hornung and trainer D. Wayne Lukas have said they definitely would run Titletown Five in the Derby if they can get in.

Others likely from a nominations list of 61 3-year-olds for the 89th Derby Trial include Demonic, Forty Tales, Officer Alex, Ruble, Treasury Bill, and Zee Bros, with several more possible.

With Saturday’s action going deep into the evening, Churchill will not have a Sunday card. The second card of the meet is set for Tuesday.

chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Let's see how the track surface is playing - and - I'd hope that Welsch and company will let us know when the grader appears on the track.
cwk2trotfan More than 1 year ago
My thoughts are that the owner wants to run for obvious reasons. Lukas might want to please his owner, but he probably wants a rabbit to push Verrazano and the other speed horses on the front end so they don't get to sprint home from a relaxed pace (for the benefit of Will Take Charge).
ivanyamil More than 1 year ago
He is a fresh horse. I don't understand what this issue is all about. If he gets in let him run.
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Wow..... It's amazing how many experts on this board know what's best for this horse, but his Hall of Fame trainer doesn't. News flash people..... THE OWNERS PAY THE BILLS AND ULTIMATELY DECIDE WHERE AND WHEN THEIR HORSES RUN!!! Of course Wayne is going to oblige. If he doesn't that horse will be in someone elses barn tomorrow.
CWineke More than 1 year ago
"He’ll go in the Derby Trial,” Lukas said. “Were going to do what’s right by the horse and give him the chance to run a one-turn mile. If he runs well, we’ll look at the Preakness.” -DRF 4/2/13 Everyone can change their mind, but I wonder what changed his mind...oh that's right 20 pts. gets you in the field! For the sake of the horse, let's hope D.Lame doesn't strike again!
Eric More than 1 year ago
I suspect 78 yo Paul Hornug is having a few flashbacks to his glory days (as a gambler....not a Packer) and is figuring this is probably as close as he is ever going to get to a derby and had something to do with the decision to run. Although, I'm sure D. Wayne didn't discourage him....or even use much logic in the decision making process.
Jerry Sabo More than 1 year ago
I agree with most of the comments. Paul Hornung wants to run no matter what and Lukas will oblige. What a joke. It's people like this that shouldn't own race horses.
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
Win a late 20 point race to be in the Derby and live a dream is a joke? I would hope more people lived their life to take a shot at something great. When a horse runs a strong race and comes out if it fine, why not run him? Plenty of horses have raced great on a week's rest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again all Lukas cares about is his giant ego being stroked. If you look at his win percentage over the past six years it stands at a dismal 8% starters to winners. The point I am making here is Lukas loves to have his mug on television and relive the good ole days but truth is the game has passed him by and its time for this ole timer to head out to pasture and allow other more qualified horses and trainers into the Derby race.
R. Carlos Nanez More than 1 year ago
I totally agree with you, but how he still gets owner willing to put up with him ?, the way he manage those poor horses in running to death. He definitely should hung up and give a chance to much younger trainers.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
I don't believe running a horse back in a week is really a big deal depending on the horse.people underestimate these athletes ...if a horse is fit sound and eating well theres no reason not to run him in one week you could even run him again the week after as long as you give him time off or a vacation at some point.the reason todays horses are not able to do what they would in the past is in my opinion because they have poor trainers who live by the needle and dont really want to put in the work it takes to have a fit sound healthy horse.its so much easier to medicate them and run one a month.if they where entered every week there would not be enough withdrawal time for the drugs to be flushed from the system not even with lasix.training a horse the old fashioned way was hard trainers had smaller stables and knew exactly how hard they could push a horse now with 250 horse stables the trainer has to check is computer programme to know what each horse did yesterday and instead of guessing if a horse can take hard training they back off.the result is soft horses that cant get a distance of ground because they have not trained up to it and are exausted after a race and need 2 months to recover.
dameian ramsay More than 1 year ago
I agree
Brady More than 1 year ago
Charismatic?
jttf More than 1 year ago
lukas has tried the charismatic schedule out with optimizer, dublin, flying private, going wild, ten cents a shine, and scrimshaw. this is where the horse runs a race ,approximately every 30 days while on lasix. all of these horses started in derby and could not finish better than 7th. proud citizen finished 2nd in da derby. but, guess what ? he did not use lasix until the derby.
Thomas Cook More than 1 year ago
Well. The general consensus here is screw the horse...
Jason Hart More than 1 year ago
Thomas...... You and I both know horses get wheeled back in a week all the time. Is it ideal? Of course not. But they wouldn't write this race a week out if it were inhumane or cruel. Besides.... It's a one turn mile. This horse would probably have a brisk work a week out anyway. Why not kill two birds with one stone and get a work in him, while running at a $175k purse? Would I do it? Depends on how sound my colt was. But I definately won't second guess someone who does.