Racing & Wagering

Grade I Winner Cloudy's Knight Highweighted For Friday's Grade III Stars and Stripes

Churchill Downs Communications | 03/29/2009 #

S J Stables LLC’s Cloudy’s Knight, a Grade I stakes winner with earnings in excess $2 million, will be the starting highweight with a 122-pound impost in Friday’s Grade III Stars and Stripes Handicap. The traditional Independence Day Holiday headliner, which will be run at the marathon distance of a mile and a half on the turf, carries a purse of $175,000 including $50,000 from the Breeders’ Cup Fund for eligible horses.

Now 8-years-old, Cloudy’s Knight has matured into a long distance specialist, earning his biggest score last October when the son of Lord Avie captured the Grade I Canadian International at Woodbine Race Course near Toronto after previously taking the 11-furlong Grade II Sky Classic, also at Woodbine. One year ago, the locally-based Frank Kirby trainee was caught in the waning yards of the 2007 edition of the Stars and Stripes. In his only start this year, Cloudy’s Knight raced wide the $100,000 Opening Verse Handicap at Churchill Downs, though the mile and sixteenth distance of that Kentucky affair was likely too short for the veteran gelding. Ramsey Zimmerman gets a return call Friday.

Adele Dischneider & Claiborne Farm’s Lattice, winner of the 2007 Grade II American Derby over this course, returns to Arlington for the Stars and Stripes after posting a three-quarter length victory in the Grade III Louisville Handicap at Churchill at the Stars and Stripes distance in his last trip to the post. The 4-year-old son of Arch rallied from mid-pack to capture the American Derby at a mile and three-sixteenths here last summer when trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott. Now in the care of conditioner Al Stall Jr., Lattice will carry 118 pounds and by ridden by Julien Leparoux.

Others of note in the Stars and Stripes include James Messineo’s Major Rhythm (Trey Agilar, 114), James Glenn & William Patterson’s Rumor Has It (Eddie Perez, 112) and Alex & Joanne Lieblong’s Telling (Eddie Razo, 114) – the one-two-three finishers on the $54,200 Rossi Gold Stakes here June 7.

Completing the field for the Stars and Stripes are: Frank O’Connor & Will Arvin’s Borobudur (Florent Geroux, 110); Rose Barney’s Canela (James Graham, 112); Johnston, Bommarito & Molly Malone Racing Club’s A. P. Xcellent (Larry Melancon, 115) and Chrysalis Stables LLC’s Silverfoot (Rene Douglas, 114).