Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert hopes to start gutsy maiden winner Improbable on the Road to the 2019 Kentucky Derby as he faces winners for the first time in Friday’s $100,000 Street Sense at Churchill Downs.
Slated as Race 4 with a post time of 2:36 p.m. (all times Eastern), the one-mile Street Sense often serves as a local prep to the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) on the closing weekend of the Fall Meet. The first post Friday is 12:55 p.m.
Owned by WinStar Farm, China Horse Club and SF Racing, Improbable was successful in his career debut after sitting just off the early :45 half-mile pace and closing late under jockey Drayden Van Dyke. Improbable, a $200,000 purchase from the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, drew post position 2 and will once again be ridden by Van Dyke.
Among the other challengers in the Street Sense field is 15 ¾-length maiden winner Trophy Chaser for owner/trainer Juan Avila. Trophy Chaser crushed the competition in his second-career start at Gulfstream Park under jockey Leonel Reyes. Following that performance, the colt tested the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park but finished fifth.
Trophy Chaser originally was under consideration for the Sentient Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but his connections opted to run the son of Twirling Candy in the Street Sense instead. Reyes once again has the call and drew post 3.
Also in the Street Sense field is the Churchill Downs Racing Club’s Arlington-Washington Futurity runner-up Distant Shore. The son of Algorithms won his career debut at Indiana Grand by four lengths in a 5 ½-furlong maiden special weight contest prior to testing stakes company in the seven-furlong Arlington-Washington Futurity over Arlington Park’s synthetic surface.
Churchill Downs perennial leading rider Corey Lanerie has the call on Distant Shore for trainer Tom Amoss and breaks from the rail.
The field for the Street Sense from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Distant Shore (Lanerie, Amoss); Improbable (Van Dyke, Baffert); Trophy Chaser (Reyes, Avila); Unionizer (Jose Ortiz, Bill Mott); Moonster (Robby Albarado, Dale Romans); Reward the Miracle (Jarred Journet, Butch Marshall); Manny Wah (John Velazquez, Wayne Catalano); Louder Than Bombs (Jeffrey Sanchez, David Fawkes); Marquee Prince (Brian Hernandez Jr., Brad Cox).