05/01/2013 3:09PM

Churchill Downs: Woodford Reserve pits Wise Dan vs. Point of Entry

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Coady Photography/Keeneland
Wise Dan, winning the Maker's 46 Mile, will try for his fifth straight Grade 1 victory in Saturday's Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Don’t count trainer Shug McGaughey among those excited to see defending Horse of the Year Wise Dan take on Point of Entry in Saturday’s Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve at Churchill Downs.

“I could care less about Wise Dan,” McGaughey, the trainer of Point of Entry, said Wednesday morning.

[2013 KENTUCKY DERBY: Get PPs, contender profiles, live updates]

McGaughey is just focused on his horse, Point of Entry, who will take on Wise Dan and seven others in the Woodford Reserve at 1 1/8 miles over the Churchill turf course. Point of Entry drew post 9 while Wise Dan will break from post 8.

Point of Entry, who had a five-race winning streak snapped when second to Little Mike in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year, kicked off his season with a win over Animal Kingdom in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Wise Dan seeks his fifth consecutive Grade 1 victory and his sixth straight win overall in the Woodford. Wise Dan last lost in the Stephen Foster, a race on dirt here last June.

Wise Dan, who won last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile over Animal Kingdom, launched his 6-year-old season with a win over the McGaughey-trained Data Link in the Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland three weeks ago.

Jose Lezcano, who subbed for an injured John Velazquez in that race, will be back aboard Wise Dan Saturday as Velazquez is committed to ride Point of Entry. Both horses will carry 124 pounds.

The rest of the field consists of Jeranimo, Optimizer, Silver Max, Slim Shadey, Bim Bam and Middie.

◗ The McGaughey-trained Hungry Island will seek to repeat Saturday in the Grade 2, $250,000 Distaff Turf Mile, a race that drew four Grade 1 winners among a 10-horse field.

Hungry Island has yet to capture a Grade 1, but she won this race by a length last year and is coming off a solid allowance victory at Keeneland in which she beat Karlovy Vary, one of the Grade 1 winners in this field.

The Distaff Turf Mile marks the return to the races of Marketing Mix, who won the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive last September at Santa Anita before finishing second to Zagora in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

Stephanie’s Kitten, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf over this course in 2011, and Daisy Devine, the 2012 Jenny Wiley winner, are the other Grade 1 winners in this field.

Class Included, who was entered in Friday’s La Troienne on dirt, is cross-entered in here.

◗ Trinniberg, last year’s champion sprinter, bombed in his 4-year-old debut in Dubai, finishing 11th in the Golden Shaheen.

His connections wasted little time bringing him back to the races, entering him in Saturday’s Grade 2, $400,000 Churchill Downs Sprint.

He will break from post 8 in a nine-horse field that includes Delaunay, who has won five consecutive listed stakes, and Unbridled’s Note, second in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande at Santa Anita last out.

Also entered are Night Party, Hierro, Laurie’s Rocket, Handsome Mike, Pass the Dice and Politicallycorrect.

◗ In the last 20 years, Allen Jerkens has started only five horses at Churchill Downs, all without success.

Saturday, the Hall of Fame trainer will send out Emma’s Encore in the Grade 1, $300,000 Humana Distaff for fillies and mares at seven furlongs.

Emma’s Encore, owned by Brenda Mercer and Peter Berglar, is the only Grade 1 winner in the field, having captured the Prioress at Saratoga last summer. Emma’s Encore is winless in five starts since the Prioress and is coming off a third in the Inside Information at Gulfstream.

Rumor, winner of the Grade 3 Las Flores at Santa Anita last out, and Aubby K, the winner of the Inside Information, top the contenders.

On Wednesday, Emma’s Encore blew out a half-mile in 47.88 seconds at Churchill.

◗ The 9-year-old Chamberlain Bridge will make his fifth consecutive start in the Grade 3, $125,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at five furlongs. He won the race in 2009 followed by a second, third, and sixth.

Heading the list of contenders are Regally Ready, who won this race in 2011; Havelock, winner of the Shakertown at Keeneland last out; and Icon Ike, who is 2 for 2 in listed turf sprint stakes this year.