05/17/2012 10:14AM

Pimlico: Done Talking tries turf in James Murphy

Four-Footed Fotos
Done Talking, winner of the Illinois Derby, will test his ability on turf in the James W. Murphy.

Sheldon Russell had never experienced anything like the Kentucky Derby before, and the 24-year-old jockey doesn’t just mean the adrenaline rush he got from riding in the world’s most famous horse race.

“I’ve never had the dirt sting like that,” said Russell, who rode Done Talking to a 14th-place finish two weeks ago at Churchill Downs. “It had to affect the horse, too.”

Russell and Done Talking won’t have such adverse conditions to battle Saturday at Pimlico when they shift to the turf in a well-matched third running of the $100,000 James W. Murphy Stakes on the Preakness undercard. Trainer Hamilton Smith said he is interested in seeing how Done Talking, winner of the Illinois Derby, will fare on grass, as this marks the turf debut for the Broken Vow colt.

“I’d like to run him in the Virginia Derby if he shows he likes the grass,” said Smith.

Done Talking was assigned post 7 in a field of 12 3-year-olds in the Murphy, which is run at a two-turn mile. Other top contenders include Easy Crossing (post 1), a last-out allowance winner over the Gulfstream Park turf for trainer Christophe Clement; Achilles (post 12), a highly regarded colt now being trained by Clement after starting his career 2 for 2 for Neil Drysdale out west; and Hammers Terror (post 9) and Gold Megillah (post 10), the respective third- and fourth-finishers in the Lexington Stakes last month at Keeneland.

The Murphy, formerly the Woodlawn Stakes, leads off a pick four with a $1 million pool guarantee as the ninth of 13 races (3:53 p.m. post).