June 19, 2024

Aloha West drops in class for Kelly’s Landing

Aloha West with Jose Ortiz riding wins the Breeders Cup Sprint at Del Mar Race Track (Photo by Horsephotos)

Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Aloha West has started his five-year-old campaign 0-for-2, but will look to get back on a winning note Saturday in the $160,000 Kelly’s Landing S. at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Wayne Catalano, Aloha West made his season debut in the May 7 Churchill Downs (G1), which was won by comfortably by reigning champion sprinter Jackie’s Warrior. Aloha West finished five lengths behind in third.

Stepping up to a mile in the June 11 Metropolitan H. (G1), Aloha West proved no threat to the sensational Flightline, who coasted home by six lengths. Aloha West finished fourth of five, beaten 11 lengths.

Bango is a three-time winner over the Churchill strip, including the last two editions of the Aristides S. and the 2021 running of the 6 1/2-furlong Kelly’s Landing. Bango surprised bettors with his title defense in the June 4 Aristides, winning at 10-1.

“I couldn’t believe he paid that much. He ran one bad race this year and his record at Churchill Downs wasn’t hidden by any means,” trainer Greg Foley said.

Also wheeling back from the Aristides are Miles Ahead, who captured the Gulfstream Park Sprint in February, and Bob’s Edge, who captured the Whitmore (G3) and King Cotton S. at Oaklawn over the winter.

The $200,000 American Derby and $200,000 Tepin S. will both be run on the main track this season after originally being scheduled for the turf, which has been closed for the remainder of the spring meet.

The historic American Derby, previously run at Arlington and Washington Parks in Chicago, will have its first running on dirt since 1991. A field of 11 will line up in the 1 1/16-mile affair for three-year-olds, with Rattle N Roll looking to snap a five-race losing streak.

Last year’s Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner, Rattle N Roll has underwhelmed this term. Most recently, the Kenny McPeek-trained son of Connect finished six lengths third behind Cyberknife in the Matt Winn (G3).

Also in the field are Oaklawn S. runner-up Kuchar, winner of a 1 1/4-mile allowance on May 22; Grade 2-placed McLaren Vale, a winner in the slop at Horseshoe Indianapolis last time in an entry-level allowance; and Kitodan, upset scorer in the Audubon S. on the turf last month.

The Tepin, for three-year-old fillies at one mile, features Grade 2 heroine Wicked Halo, who captured the Leslie’s Lady S. on June 12 following a solid third-place effort in the Eight Belles (G2). Making her stakes debut is Juddmonte homebred Patna, who enters off back-to-back wins in overnight company.