(Warrior’s Charge / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

Ten Strike Racing and Madaket Stables’ multiple Grade III winner Warrior’s Charge will enter Saturday’s $100,000 Ack Ack(GIII) at Churchill Downs as the 9-5 morning line favorite but will have to overcome the rail draw in the 13-horse field.

Warrior’s Charge, the 4-year-old son of Munnings, is a two-time Grade III winner in 2020 with victories in the $500,000 Razorback (GIII) at Oaklawn and, most recently, in the $200,000 Philip Iselin (GIII) where he was elevated to first following stretch interference byPirate’s Punch. The speedy five-time winner will have to overcome the rail post in Saturday’s one-turn mile event.

“With drawing inside I’d expect him to be forward into the race,” trainer Brad Coxsaid. “I thought he ran a solid effort in the (Philip Iselin) behind Pirate’s Punch. That horse came back to win again at Monmouth this past weekend. He’s a really nice horse, too.”

Warrior’s Charge has been on the lead in seven of his last eight starts. The Florida-bred colt began his career in November 2018 at Churchill Downs and in his first three starts tracked from off the pace. When he broke his maiden on March 16, 2019, Warrior’s Charge was sent to the lead by jockey Jose Ortiz and bested a field by six lengths. The only start since then that Warrior’s Charge did not make the early lead was in the July 4, $500,000 Metropolitan Handicap (GI) where he bumped with rival Mr Freeze several times leaving the starting gate.

Saturday’s Ack Ack is carded as Race 9 with a post time of 4:53 p.m. (all times Eastern). The 10-race program has a first post of 12:45 p.m. The Ack Ack could serve as a prep for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (GI), which will be run six weeks later on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

The complete field for the Ack Ack in order of post position (with jockey, trainer and morning line oddsd): Warrior’s Charge (Geroux, Cox, 9-5); Bourbon Calling (Brian Hernandez Jr., Ian Wilkes, 12-1); Proverb (Adam Beschizza, Richard Baltas, 30-1); American Anthem (James Graham, Mike Maker, 5-1); Mr. Money (Gabriel Saez, Bret Calhoun, 6-1); Pioneer Spirit (David Cohen, Robertino Diodoro, 12-1); Alkhaatam (Declan Cannon, Danny Peitz, 20-1); Ebben (Corey Lanerie, Steve Margolis, 5-1); Bankit (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 10-1); Thirstforlife (Chris Landeros, Wes Hawley, 30-1); Dinar (RafaelBejarano, Cherie DeVaux, 30-1); Home Base (Joe Rocco Jr., Mike Tomlinson, 30-1); and Everfast (Julien Leparoux, Jack Sisterson 10-1).

(Authentic / Coady Photography & Courtesy of Churchill Downs)

KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER AUTHENTIC TO WORK FOR PREAKNESS MONDAY, SHIP TO BALITMORE TUESDAY – Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffertslightly altered the originally planned workout for Kentucky Derby (Grade I) winnerAuthentic as the colt will now breeze Monday morning at Churchill Downs prior to shipping to Baltimore Tuesday for the $1 million Preakness (GI) on Oct. 3.

Baffert is scheduled to fly from California back to Kentucky on Sunday to watch the Derby winner work Monday. Authentic, along with stablemate and fellow Preakness contender Thousand Words, have been based with fellow Hall of Fame trainer D. WayneLukas since the Derby. Thousand Words is scheduled to work Saturday morning, according to Albaugh Family Stables’ racing manager Jason Loutsch.

CHURCHILL DOWNS PARTNERS WITH NYRA FOR CROSS-COUNTRY PICK 5 ON SATURDAY – Churchill Downs and the New York Racing Association will partner for a cross-country Pick 5 opportunity on Saturday.

The 50-cent minimum wager will feature three graded stakes events, including the $100,000 Ack Ack (GIII) in Race 9 at Churchill Downs. Wagering will be available on ADW platforms including www.TwinSpires.com.

Saturday’s Cross Country Pick 5 Sequence:

  • Leg A: Belmont Race 7 (4:08 p.m.)
  • Leg B: Churchill Race 8 (4:21 p.m.)
  • Leg C: Belmont Race 8 – Grade III Nobel Damsel (4:42 p.m.)
  • Leg D: Churchill Race 9 – Grade III AckAck (4:53 p.m.)
  • Leg E: Belmont Race 9 – Grade II Vosburgh (5:14 p.m.)

TV SCHEDULE – The September Meet will air daily on the Fox Sports family of networks. Here’s the day-by-day schedule:

  • Thursday, Sept. 24: FS2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)
  • Friday, Sept. 25: FS2 (12:30-5:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Sept. 26: FS1 (12:30-1:30 p.m.), FS2 (1:30-8:30 p.m.)
  • Sunday, Sept. 27: FS2 (12:30-6 p.m.), FS1 (6-7 p.m.), FS2 (7-8 p.m.)


DOWN THE STRETCH – There was an $18,545 carryover in the 20-cent Single Six Jackpot for racing on Thursday that spanned Races 4-9. The Super Hi 5 stood at $11,480 in Race 9. First post was 12:45 p.m. … “Inside Churchill Downs” will air Friday at 6 p.m. on ESPN 680/105.7. Those outside the Louisville area can listen on www.espnlouisville.com. … For more information on the September Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com/handicapping.