(Trainer Brendan Walsh / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Darren Rogers & Kevin Kerstein:

PENN MILE WINNER FIRST WORLD WAR FACES WIDE-OPEN CAST IN $250,000 AMERICAN DERBY

Qatar Racing and Hunter Valley Farm’s three-time winner and recent Penn Mile (GIII) hero First World War returns to Churchill Downs against a wide-open group of eight 3-year-olds that entered Saturday’s 109th running of the $250,000 American Derby (Listed).

          The American Derby at 1 1/16 miles on turf is part of a stakes six pack on Saturday’s Stephen Foster Day program. First post is 12:45 p.m. with the American Derby going as Race 9 at 4:58 p.m.

          Trained by Brendan Walsh, First World War defeated Aspenite by a scant nose three weeks ago in the Penn Mile under world-class jockey Frankie Dettori. Earlier this season, the son of War Front switched from dirt to turf in the Kitten’s Joy (GIII) at Gulfstream where he successfully defeated seven foes by a half-length. Dettori will return to ride First World War in the American Derby and the duo will break from post No. 7.

          Here is the complete field for the American Derby from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  • Green Light (Jose Ortiz, Rodolphe Brisset)
  • Moonlight (Tyler Gaffalione, Todd Pletcher)
  • Freedom Principle (Luis Saez, Jose Garoffalo)
  • Lagynos (Cristian Torres, Steve Asmussen)
  • Agate Road (Irad Ortiz Jr., Todd Pletcher)
  • Depiction (Joel Rosario, Cherie DeVaux)
  • First World War (Dettori, Walsh)
  • Brilliant Berti (Brian Hernandez Jr., Cherie DeVaux)

          Turf racing Saturday at Churchill Downs is scheduled to be contested in Lane 1 on the Matt Winn Turf Course.