05/28/2010 11:00PM

Moralist out to defend title in Honor the Hero


The $35,000 Honor the Hero Turf Express is Canterbury's first turf stakes of the season. The five-furlong race has attracted defending champion Moralist, who is trained by Tammy Domenosky and has been made the 2-1 morning-line choice. He won the Honor the Hero in a blistering 56.60 seconds over firm going in 2009.

Moralist comes into the race off two tries in Grade 3 turf sprints in Kentucky. He finished third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the Shakertown at Keeneland on April 10, and fifth, beaten 1 3/4 lengths in the Churchill Downs Turf Sprint on April 30.

Moralist's main rival is Bullet From Abroad, who will be making his Canterbury debut for trainer Mike Dini. Bullet From Abroad won a $50,000 claiming turf sprint at Gulfstream Park three starts ago but has been beaten in $16,000 starter-allowance company in his last two races. Leading jockey Dean Butler has the mount and will likely try to make the early lead from post 6.

A longshot with a chance is Senor Smiley, who is 8-1 on the morning line. Trainer Bryan Porter is winning at a 30 percent clip on the turf since the beginning of 2009, and Senor Smiley has sharp early speed. The biggest knock against Senor Smiley is that he has never run on the grass.