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Speaker’s Corner Makes Final Start Before Breeders’ Cup | 2022 Ack Ack Stakes Preview & FREE Picks
Speaker's Corner (Coglianese Photos)

Speaker’s Corner Makes Final Start Before Breeders’ Cup | 2022 Ack Ack Stakes Preview & FREE Picks

Aaron previews the 2022 Ack Ack Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, then gives his top picks and longshots from this “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). The multiple graded stakes champion Speaker’s Corner must rebound from hist last-out dud in the Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2) as he makes his final start before the World Championships. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!

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The track press release:

Godolphin’s Speaker’s Corner, a Grade I winner in this year’s Carter Handicap (GI), tops a competitive field of 10 older horses that were entered in Saturday’s 30th running of the $300,000 Ack Ack (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

The one-mile Ack Ack is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI). The winning horse will receive an entry-fees paid berth to the Nov. 5 race at Keeneland along with a travel stipend if the winning horse is based outside of Kentucky.

The Ack Ack was carded as Race 9 of 11 with a post time of 4:55 p.m. (all times Eastern). The race will share the Saturday spotlight with the $500,000 Lukas Classic (GIII), which will go as Race 10 at 5:26 p.m. The first race is 12:45 p.m.

Trained by Bill Mott, Speaker’s Corner arrived at Churchill Downs on Wednesday morning from his main base at Saratoga Race Course. The 4-year-old son of Street Sense is a three-time graded stakes winner. He previously won the Fred Hooper (GIII) and Gulfstream Park Mile (GII) earlier this year. Three starts ago, Speaker’s Corner finished third to the world’s top-rated horse, Flightline, in the Metroplitan Handicap. In his last start, Speaker’s Corner was the even-money favorite in the Pat O’Brien (GII) but faded to fourth after dueling on the pace in the early stages of the Aug. 27 race. Junior Alvarado will have the mount in the Ack Ack and will break from the rail.

Other accomplished horses that entered the Ack Ack include Juddmonte’s three-time Grade III winner Fulsome; Joe Peacock’s 2020 Springboard Mile winner Senor Buscador; Ed and Susie Orr’s Grade III winner Silver Prospector; David Miller’s Knicks Go winner Three Technique; Carl Moore Management’s Fort Larned Stakes winner Twilight Blue; and Team Valor International’s multiple graded stakes placed Untreated.

Here is the Ack Ack field from the rail out (with jockey and trainer):

  1. Speaker’s Corner (Alvarado, Mott);
  2. Untreated (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher);
  3. Fulsome (Florent Geroux, Brad Cox); 
  4. Surly Furious (Luis Saez, Glenn Wismer);
  5. Three Technique (Rafael Bejarano, Jason Cook);
  6. Silver Prospector (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen); 
  7. Injunction (Gerardo Corrales, Carlo Vaccarezza);
  8. Senor Buscador (Francisco Arrieta, Todd Fincher); 
  9. Mailman Money (Gabe Saez, Bret Calhoun); and
  10. Twilight Blue (Brian Hernandez Jr., Joe Sharp)

The Ack Ack Stakes is named after the 1971 Horse of the Year. That same year, Ack Ack also received championship honors as Champion Older Horse and Champion Sprinter. As a 3-year-old, Ack Ack won the 1969 Derby Trial – his lone start at Churchill Downs – in 1:34.40, which was a track record at the time for the one-mile distance.