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Churchill Downs Preview & FREE Picks | Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes 2023: Derby Season Gets Going
Risk It (NYRA)

Churchill Downs Preview & FREE Picks | Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes 2023: Derby Season Gets Going

Aaron previews & gives his FREE picks for the 2023 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) from Churchill Downs, a prep race for the 2024 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Risk It continues his trip down the Derby Trail following a runner-up effort over this track last time out, but is he at risk of being upset yet again? Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The press release:

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Three Chimneys Farm’s well-regarded colt Risk It is set to make his second start on the Road to the Kentucky Derby when he faces seven fellow 2-year-olds entered for next Saturday’s 97th running of the $400,000 Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) at Churchill Downs.

The Kentucky Jockey Club will award the top five finishers points on a 10-5-3-2-1 scale as part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Prep Season. The 1 1/16-mile event is slated as Race 11 of 12 with a post time of 5:56 p.m. (ET).

Saturday’s card is part of the 19th annual Stars of Tomorrow series and features all 2-year-old races. Along with the Kentucky Jockey Club, the stellar program also includes the $400,000 Golden Rod (G2), $225,000 Ed Brown, and $225,000 Fern Creek. First post is 1 p.m.

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Risk It, a son of Gun Runner, tested the Road to the Kentucky Derby in his previous start where he finished second by 1¾ lengths to West Saratoga in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) on Sept. 16 at Churchill Downs.

The Steve Asmussen trainee made won his debut in mid-August at Saratoga in a six-furlong maiden special weight contest, scoring by 4 ½ lengths as the 8-5 favorite.

In the Iroquois, Risk It finished a neck in front of third-place finisher Liberal Arts, who returned to win the Street Sense Stakes on opening day of the Churchill Downs Fall Meet.

Risk It will be ridden in the Kentucky Jockey Club by Tyler Gaffalione from post No. 8.

Other top entrants in the Kentucky Jockey Club include the Brad Cox-trained Awesome Road, who won a maiden special weight at Ellis Park by 2 ¾ lengths; Champagne Stakes (G1) third-place finisher Dancing Groom; and undefeated Stretch Ride.

The complete Kentucky Jockey Club field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  1. Awesome Road (Flavien Prat, Brad Cox)
  2. Honor Marie (Rafael Bejarano, Whit Beckman)
  3. Real Men Violin (Brian Hernandez Jr., Kenny McPeek)
  4. Dancing Groom (Javier Castellano, Antonio Sano)
  5. Nomos (Luis Saez, Todd Pletcher)
  6. Stretch Rise (Martin Chuan, Dale Romans)
  7. Risk It (Gaffalione, Asmussen)
  8. One Red Cent (Gerardo Corrales, Jon Jazdzewski)