Updated on 03/14/2013 10:18AM

Oaklawn Park: Titletown Five to Sunland Derby, Stevens to ride

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Titletown Five was one of the most promising maiden winners of the fall meet at Churchill Downs.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Titletown Five will make his next start in the Grade 3, $800,000 Sunland Derby and is to be ridden by Gary Stevens, trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Tuesday. The 1 1/8-mile prep is March 24.

Titletown Five was one of the most impressive maiden winners of the fall meet at Churchill Downs. He made his 3-year-old debut March 2 at Oaklawn, finishing second in the $60,000 Gazebo. Tuesday morning, the horse breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 under Quevedo.

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Lukas said the timing of the Sunland Derby works for Titletown Five in both the spacing from his last start and looking forward to future races.

“If he were to run well in there, then I’ve got that option to jump into the deep end of the pool someplace, the Blue Grass, the Santa Anita Derby, or here,” Lukas said, referencing the April 13 Arkansas Derby. “I’ve got all my options. He’s going to have to run well, though.”

Lukas co-owns Titletown Five with a partnership that includes Hall of Fame football players Paul Hornung and Willie Davis. Lukas and Stevens are members of the Racing Hall of Fame.

“We’ve had good luck,” Lukas said of teaming with Stevens. “We’ve won a couple of Derbies.”

Stevens has won the Kentucky Derby for Lukas aboard Winning Colors in 1988 and Thunder Gulch in 1995.