By Emily Shields
The 2020 Kentucky Derby trail took a turn when the race was postponed from May until September 5, but with the addition of more qualifying points races means the Derby trail is extended, starting with the May 23 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.
The $150,000 race around 1 1/16-miles for sophomores drew a field of 12. The unbeaten Maxfield (5-2) is a Grade 1 winner from Keeneland last year, but was injured the week of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and was scratched. He has been working well at Keeneland for his return; trainer Brendan Walsh had him move a bullet five panels May 10 in :59.1.
Pneumatic is 4-1 morning line after winning both of his career starts. The son of Uncle Mo runs for Steve Asmussen and Winchell Thoroughbreds, and did not kick off his career until February 15. Both of his wins came at Oaklawn Park, but he has a May 9 bullet at the Fair Grounds to his recent credit.
Attachment Rate is 4-1 and drew alongside Maxfield. Dale Romans trains the son of Hard Spun, a $200,000 purchase coming off a third-place effort in the Gotham (G3) and a second place finish in the Unbridled Stakes at Gulfstream.
There are four other supporting stakes on the card, the $100,000 Shawnee, the $100,000 Tepin, the $100,000 Blame, and the $100,000 War Chant.
In the Shawnee, Dunbar Road makes her return. The 4-5 choice was a Grade 1 winner of the Alabama last year at Saratoga, then ran third in the Spinster and fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Chad Brown trains the daughter of Quality Road.
In the Tepin, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) champion Sharing returns. She has not been seen since winning three in a row last year, concluding with the Breeders’ Cup on November 1 for trainer Graham Motion. The daughter of Speightstown is also out of Breeders’ Cup winner Shared Account, who scored at Churchill Downs.
The Blame Stakes has top field of older horses includes graded winners Mr. Money, Long Range Toddy, Global Campain, Backyard Heaven, Discreet Lover, and Silver Dust as well as Preakness second place runner Everfast and Clark (G1) runner up Owendale. Smooth Like Strait at 5-1 is a good play in the War Chant for trainer Michael McCarthy.
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