(Curly Jack / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team:

The “Prep Season” on the Road to the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve will resume Saturday at Churchill Downs where nine juveniles with aspirations on making a start on the first Saturday will contest the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (Grade II).

          The Kentucky Jockey Club is the centerpiece on the “Stars of Tomorrow II” program that will feature 12 races exclusive to 2-year-olds. The 1 1/16-mile event will go as Race 11 of 12 and award the top five finishers points on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale.

          While fans watch and wager on the action Saturday, there is another opportunity to make a future wager on the Kentucky Derby. The wager, which closes Sunday at 6 p.m. (all times Eastern), features 37 individual betting interest, one interest for “All Fillies from the 2020 Foal Crop” and one interest for “All Other Colts and Geldings from the 2020 Foal Crop” that aren’t featured in the pool.

          In total, nine horses that are running Saturday are in the Pool 2 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (with race and current odds as of Friday at 10 a.m.): Joking Way (Race 3, 99-1); Victory Formation (Race 3, 76-1); Hit Show (Race 8, 99-1); Rocket Can (Race 8, 99-1); Ten Days Later (Race 8, 99-1); Curly Jack (Race 11, 46-1); Cyclone Mischief (Race 11, 99-1); Denington (Race 11, 99-1); and Instant Coffee (Race 11, 99-1).

          As of Friday morning, “All Others” was the 3-5 favorite while Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) winner Fortewas the co-individual favorite with Breeders’ Futurity (GI) runner-up Loggins at 12-1.

Pool 2 of the Future Wager, as well as the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, closes Sunday at 6 p.m. Wagering is available on www.TwinSpires.com.

          In the Kentucky Jockey Club, Instant Coffee was made the slight 5-2 morning line choice over the $300,000 Iroquois (GIII) winner Curly Jack, who was the second choice at 3-1.

          Here is the Kentucky Jockey Club field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Curly Jack (Edgar Morales, Tom Amoss, 3-1); Western Ghent (Mickaelle Michel, D. Wayne Lukas, 20-1);Denington (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek, 12-1); Gigante (Corey Lanerie, Steve Asmussen, 12-1); Red Route One (Tyler Gaffalione, Steve Asmussen, 7-2); Freedom Trail (Florent Geroux, John Terranova, 6-1); Hayes Strike (Rafael Bejarano, Kenny McPeek, 10-1); Instant Coffee (Luis Saez, Cox, 5-2); and Cyclone Mischief (Joe Talamo, Dale Romans, 8-1).

Inaugurated in 2005, Churchill Downs’ “Stars of Tomorrow” programs have helped launched the careers of numerous graded stakes winners, including more than 50 future Grade I winners led by Horse of the Year champions Gun Runner (2017) and Rachel Alexandra (2009); Kentucky Derby winners Super Saver (2010) and Mandaloun (2021); Kentucky Oaks winners Rachel Alexandra (2009), Believe You Can (2012), Monomoy Girl (2018) and Secret Oath (2022); Preakness winners Shackleford (2011), War of Will (2019) and Swiss Skydiver (2020); Belmont winner Creator (2016); as well as 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2013 Stephen Foster hero Fort Larned and 2013 champion 3-year-old Will Take Charge.

JAPAN ROAD TO KENTUCKY DERBY SET TO BEGIN SATURDAY MORNING – The Japan Road to the Kentucky Derby will begin at 12:15 a.m. (all times Eastern) Saturday at Tokyo Racecourse whereYuji Hasegawa’s maiden winner Plavi (JPN) was the 5-2 favorite against nine Japanese-breds in the $220,325 Cattleya Stakes.

The Cattleya, run at about one mile, will award the top five finishers points on a 10-4-3-2-1 scale for the stand-alone Japan Road to the Kentucky.

Trained by Haruki Sugiyama, Plavi broke his maiden Oct. 1 at Chukyo Racecourse, located about four hours west of Tokyo. The chestnut son of Duramente will be ridden in the Cattleya by Keita Tosaki from post No. 2

Several horses that entered the Cattleya have breeding familiar to many North Americans. There are two sons of Lukas Classic (GIII) winner Mind Your Biscuits: Mirror of Mind (JPN) (5-1) and Toa Raiden(JPN) (11-1).

The Cattleya will go as Race 9 of 12 prior to the featured Capital Stakes in Race 11. Sunday’s card at Tokyo features the Grade I Japan Cup worth a purse of approximately $5.5 million.

          There have been four horses based in Japan that have run in the Kentucky Derby: Ski Captain (14th, 1995); Lani (9th, 2016); Master Fencer (JPN) (6th, 2019) and Crown Pride (JPN) (13th, 2022).

RUNNING BEE MADE 3-1 MORNING LINE FAVORITE IN GRADE III, $300,000 COMMONWEALTH TURFCalumet Farm’s impressive 5 ¼-length allowance winner Running Beewas made the 3-1 morning line favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds that were entered in Sunday’s 17th running of the $300,000 Commonwealth Turf (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

          The Commonwealth Turf, run at 1 1/16 miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course, will go as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (all times Eastern.) Sunday’s Fall Meet closing day program will get underway at 1 p.m. and feature mandatory payouts in all wagers including the 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot.

          Trained by Chad Brown, the improving Running Bee cruised to a maiden-breaking score Aug. 10 at Saratoga when he circled past eight rivals to win by 3 ¾ lengths under jockey Manny Franco. Following an unsuccessful try at Kentucky Downs in the $750,000 Dueling Grounds Derby (GIII), the son of English Channel returned to allowance company at Keeneland where he easily defeated nine rivals in a front-running score under jockey Tyler Gaffalione and earned a professional 91 Brisnet Speed Rating. Gaffalione will once again have the call from post No. 3.

Here is the complete field from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Stolen Base(Luis Saez, Mike Maker, 8-1); Trademark (Martin Garcia, Vicki Oliver, 20-1); Running Bee (Gaffalione, Brown, 3-1); Play Action Pass (Edgar Morales, Robert Medina, 5-1); Mount Rundle (Joe Talamo, Michelle Nihei, 12-1); Ready to Purrform (Ricardo Santana Jr., Brad Cox, 7-2); Acutator (Brian Hernandez Jr., Michael McCarthy, 15-1); Fighter in the Win (Gerardo Corrales, Maker, 12-1); Portfolio Company (Florent Geroux, Brown, 4-1); Red Danger (Julien Leparoux, Brian Lynch, 20-1); Barberini (Vince Cheminaud, Arnaud Delacour, 15-1).

          The Commonwealth Turf is scheduled to be contested in Lane 1 of the turf course.

          Wagering is available for the Commonwealth Turf and every race from Churchill Downs onwww.TwinSpires.com, the official wagering provider of the Kentucky Derby and Churchill Downs Incorporated.

RACE FOR FALL MEET TITLES COMES DOWN TO CLOSING THREE DAYS – Entering Saturday’s card, just 36 races remained at the 2022 Fall Meet and perennial leading rider Tyler Gaffalione had a one-win lead in the Churchill Downs jockey standings 15-14 over Brian Hernandez Jr. and Luis Saez. … In the trainer standings, Mike Maker led the way with nine wins over Steve Asmussen’s seven victories. Four trainers were tied with five wins: Rusty Arnold II, Brad Cox, Genaro Garcia and Kenny McPeek. … There was a four-way tie in the owner standings with three wins between Susan and Jim Hill, Lothenbach Stables, Paradise Farms Corp and David Staudacher and Stonestreet Stables.

DOWN THE STRETCH – Friday’s 12-race program from Churchill Downs got underway at 1 p.m. and featured the Grade I, $750,000 Clark presented by Norton Healthcare and Grade II, $300,000 Mrs. Revere. There was a $7,973 carryover in the 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot which spanned Races 7-12. First post was 1 p.m. … There will be a mandatory payout on all wagers Sunday for Closing Day of the Fall Meet. First post will be 1 p.m.