Multiple graded stakes winner Rattle N Roll, who boasts a record of 3-1-2 at Churchill Downs, looks to bounce back as the beaten favorite in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) when he takes on eight others in the $500,000 Lukas Classic (G2) on Saturday.
At 1 1/8 miles, the Lukas Classic is one of three stakes on Churchill’s
Saturday program, which includes the $400,000 Ack Ack Stakes (G3) and the $200,000 Jefferson on the turf.
Trained by Kenny McPeek, Rattle N Roll won three Grade 3 stakes earlier this year including the Blame at Churchill, the Ben Ali at Keeneland and the Pimlico Special.
Brian Hernandez, who took the 2013 edition of the race on Fort Larned, will ride Rattle N Roll (7-5) from post 4.
Clapton, a Grade 3 winner earlier this year when he took the Ghostzapper at Gulfstream Park, is 1-1-3 from six starts this year, having finished fourth after a wide trip in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Saratoga last out.
Trained by Chad Summers, who won the 2018 Lukas Classic with Mind Your Biscuits, Clapton (6-1) leaves from post 2, with Cristian Torres aboard.
Americanrevolution, trained by Todd Pletcher, is the 5-2 second choice even though the 5-year-old posted his last victory in the 2021 Cigar Mile (G1) at Aqueduct.
He ran three times in 2022, including a pair of runner-up finishes in the Stephen Foster (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. His only start this year was a fourth-place finish in the Evan Shipman Handicap for New York breds at Saratoga on Aug. 11 – his first race in nearly a year.
The picks: 1 Clapton 2 Americanrevolution 3 Rattle N Roll
The field for the $500,000 Lukas Stakes (G2), from the rail out, with jockey, trainer, odds:
1 Happy American, James Graham, Neil Pessin), 8-1
2 Clapton (Cristian Torres, Chad Summers), 6-1
3 Warrant (Floren Geroux, Brad Cox), 8-1
4 Rattle N Roll (Brian Hernandez, Ken McPeek), 7-5
5 Trademark (Martin Garcia, Victoria Oliver), 12-1
6 Blue Devil (Ricardo Santana, Jr., Jeff Hiles), 20-1
7 Whelen Springs (Jose Ferrer, Lindsay Schultz), 12-1
8 Five Star General (Corie Lanerie, Grant Forster), 15-1
9 Americanrevolution (Tyler Gaffalione, Todd Pletcher), 5-2
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