Yankee Fourtune tops Commonwealth Turf
YANKEE FOURTUNE (Yankee Gentleman) dropped his initial career start over Monmouth Park’s main track in 2009, but hasn’t been beaten since switching to turf in his three-year-old bow on July 5. The Kiaran McLaughlin runner will put his current win streak on the line while facing 12 rivals in Saturday’s $100,000 Commonwealth Turf S. (G3) at Churchill Downs.
The gray gelding was given a nine-month break following his career debut but easily scored against maiden claiming rivals in his return. He added a pair of allowance victories to his resume before making his stakes bow in the Hawthorne Derby (G3) last out going nine furlongs. Taking command from the start, Yankee Fourtune led every step of the way to the wire, eventually finishing 2 1/4 lengths in front of MISTER MARTI GRAS (Belong to Me), who lines back up here.
Yankee Fourtune will have to share top weight duties of 123 pounds off that success and will keep regular rider Victor Santiago in the saddle for Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile test.
BEAU CHOIX (Elusive Quality) has done well for himself since joining the stakes ranks. The chestnut colt captured the James W. Murphy S. and Quick Call S. before running second in the Restoration S. He made his graded bow a third-place run in the Jamaica H. (G1), just missing by 1 3/4 lengths after being fanned five wide into the stretch. The Barclay Tagg-trained sophomore will be getting a jockey switch to Julien Leparoux on Saturday, which can only help his chances.
Mister Marti Gras will attempt to turn the tables on Yankee Fourtune while going for his first graded score. The Chris Block trainee was second in the American Derby (G2) in mid-July. Also looking for redemption will be Brazilian Group 1 hero UAREOUTLAW (Brz) (Christine’s Outlaw), who made his U.S. debut a well-beaten sixth in the Indiana Derby (G2) last out over a sloppy, sealed dirt track. The bay colt will try to show more here while returning to turf.
Other contenders include GUYS REWARD (Grand Reward), third by a neck in the Transylvania S. (G3) in the spring; Kent S. (G3) third STORMY LORD (Stormy Atlantic); and TURALLURE (Wando), who is currently riding a three-race winning skein.