DUNDALK, IRELAND – The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn, one of trainer Aidan O’Brien’s nominations for the Kentucky Derby in May, is likely to make his reappearance in the Listed Patton Stakes at Dundalk on Friday, March 9.
After Storm Emma scuppered any chance of racing at Dundalk last week, the much-anticipated Kentucky Derby Race Night has been rescheduled for Friday evening.
The feature race on the 32Red-sponsored eight-race card is the Patton Stakes, a Listed Race worth €75,000. The fixture will also contain a €25,000 All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier for fillies and mares.
The 32Red Patton Stakes is the penultimate leg of the “European Road to the Kentucky Derby” points-based initiative that covers selected races in Ireland, Britain, and France, and will lead to the horse that accumulates the most points gaining entry to the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of American racing’s Triple Crown.
Regardless of whether he tops the points table, Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien plans on running Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 5.
O’Brien has had one previous runner in the Kentucky Derby, Master Of Hounds, who ran well to finish fifth in 2011.
“The ‘European Road to the Kentucky Derby’ is a fantastic series of races, and we’re delighted that the 32Red Patton Stakes is forming part of it,” said Jim Martin, CEO at Dundalk Stadium. “It will be the most valuable race ever staged at Dundalk and will be the feature on what should be an excellent night of racing.”
Aidan O’Brien’s other Patton Stakes entries for the mile contest are Group 2 winner Seahenge, Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes fourth-place finisher Threeandfourpence, the maiden son of Frankel Spanish Point, and debutant Cliffs Of Dooneen.
Among the other possible runners in a race laced with quality are good recent Dundalk winners Blackgold Fairy, Princess Yaiza, Zihba, and Ship Of Dreams, along with the maiden Irish Minister.
Dignitaries from Churchill Downs and Arena Leisure, who are responsible for the All-Weather Championships, will attend Dundalk on Friday on what promises to be a superb night of racing and entertainment. The first race is due off at 5:30 pm local time (12:30 pm EST).