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LOUISVILLE, KY – JRita Young Thoroughbreds’ four-time winner Man in the Can will take his next step on the Road to the Kentucky Derby (G1) in the $600,000 Blue Grass Stakes (G2) on July 11 at Keeneland following his 1 1/2-length allowance victory Friday at Churchill Downs.
The rescheduled Blue Grass will award the Top 4 finishers 100-40-20-10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Should Man in the Can qualify for the September 5 Kentucky Derby, he would become the first Arkansas-bred to run in the race since Barbizon Streak, who finished 16th in 1971.
“That sure was an impressive turn of foot,” trainer Ron Moquett said of Man in the Can’s victory. “I wasn’t expecting him to go off as that big of a favorite, but he ran against some stiff Arky-bred competition in his last couple of starts at Oaklawn. I think the bettors saw that before the race and that’s why he ended up going off favorite. He definitely deserves a shot in the Blue Grass. There have been so many top Kentucky Derby contenders that have gone off the trail this week that it’s really anyone’s game.”
Another improving 3-year-old who won an allowance event this week at Churchill Downs was Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector. The 3-year-old son of Bernardini collected his third lifetime victory with a powerful 6 1/2-length score on Saturday, only 0.34 seconds off the track record after he blitzed a final time of 1:41.35 for 1 1/16 miles.
“He’s certainly getting better at the right time,” trainer Tommy Drury said. “That is as impressive as it gets to kick clear as he did. I asked Bruce to let us enjoy this one for a couple of days and then we’d get together and talk about our next options.”
The next stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby is Saturday’s $1 million Belmont Stakes (G1), which is expected to be headlined by Florida Derby (G1) winner Tiz the Law.
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