Updated on 03/14/2013 11:18AM

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.

Dave More than 1 year ago
The Sunland Derby is going to come up very tough with a large field, just like the Rebel this weekend and Spiral on the 23rd. The winner gets the 50 and most likely a ticket to the Derby as a result.
Richard More than 1 year ago
Smart move by Lukas to put Gary on Titletown Five. Gary has only one way to go, and that is up. Winning Colors was owned by former owner of The San Diego Chargers, Gene Klein! He was probably the best owner the Chargers ever had. Winning Colors is a member of a very small list of fillies that have won The Kentucky Derby and was the last to do so! Thunder Gulch was a great horse also, I think even better than his daddy, Gulch. There is a thing I believe about winners and that is that they always seem to bounce back up. Gary Stevens is on that trail for a while! I have always been a Gary Stevens fan! He missed placing in The Santa Anita Handicap by a nose but won a $60,000 Allowance Optional Claiming race on turf at 1 1/8 mile the next day. He has won three turf races. He said he wants to race at Del Mar, and there is nothing wrong with their turf track. Del Mar is always a lot of fun. Too bad it runs the same time as Saratoga!
Rita Polander More than 1 year ago
It will be Titletown 6 after Titletown wins the KY Derby. I've got him at 61-1 in Exacta Boxes with 11 other top contenders.
anthony torres More than 1 year ago
Who proofs these things? How can you misspell Churchill? Someone is about to be fired.
Julie Gregory More than 1 year ago
who cares fool. stop looking for things to complain about. just be glad your perfect .
Sherwin Root More than 1 year ago
That's you're. You're welcome. :-)
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
I agree Julie. It seems as though there is always someone who wants to be the grammar police. Enjoy the article.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Have to agree with you, Anthony. The proofreading on DRF.com is certainly not up to the standards of such a fine publication as Racing Form. It detracts from the content of the article, and it occurs far too frequently.
Leslie Burke Fernandes More than 1 year ago
you would fire a guy for mispelling a word? what would you do to his family if his math was (rong)?
Leslie Burke Fernandes More than 1 year ago
You would fire a guy for mispelling a word? Would you wipe out his whole family if his math was (rong)?
Bryan Waters More than 1 year ago
Paul Hornung, a self-accused pathological gambler. Gary Stevens, a known strange rider of horses. Yep. I'm betting the house on Titletown Five!!!
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
"Strange rider of horses"? Please go on.