Lucky Seven Stable's Rattle N Roll, whose rally stalled when sixth as the favorite in the Sept. 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga Race Course, has an opportunity to bounce back at Churchill Downs in the $500,000 Lukas Classic (G2) Sept. 30.
Although not a Breeders' Cup Challenge Race: Win and You're In, like the $400,000 Ack Ack Stakes (G3) earlier on the card at Churchill Downs, the 1 1/8-mile Lukas Classic is the richest race on Churchill's three-stakes Saturday program that also includes the $200,000 Jefferson Cup for 3-year-old grass runners.
Even without providing automatic, paid entrance into a Breeders' Cup race, the Lukas Classic has served as a successful prep for the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), which will be run this year at Santa Anita Park Nov. 4.
Rattle N Roll, trained by Kenny McPeek, has performed well in six prior starts beneath the Twin Spires, possessing a 3-1-2 record. Earlier this year, he won the June 3 Blame Stakes (G3) locally, one of three grade 3 wins he strung together this spring, along with the April 22 Ben Ali Stakes (G3) at Keeneland and the May 19 Pimlico Special (G3) at Pimlico Race Course.
Following the Blame, he ran second to the now-retired West Will Power in the July 1 Stephen Foster Stakes (G1) at Ellis Park. That race preceded his 3 3/4-length defeat in the Jockey Club Gold Cup when he raced evenly while in traffic.
Brian Hernandez Jr., who won the 2013 Lukas Classic (then called the Homecoming Classic) on Fort Larned, is aboard late-running Rattle N Roll. The Ian Wilkes-trained Fort Larned would run fourth in the 2013 Breeders' Cup Classic. In 2012, he led throughout in the Classic under Hernandez after a third-place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Leading Threats to Rattle N Roll
- RRR Racing's Clapton, a grade 3 winner earlier in the year, was a wide-rallying fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup for trainer Chad Summers, who won the 2018 Lukas Classic with Mind Your Biscuits. "It's great coming back here," Summers said. "Hopefully it can be like 2018 again. This horse has a lot of talent and has competed well against some top horses this year."
- CHC and WinStar Farm's Americanrevolution , the 2021 Cigar Mile (G1) winner who placed at the top stakes level in 2022, makes his second start of 2023 after finishing fourth in his return against New York-breds in the Aug. 11 Evan Shipman Handicap at Saratoga.
Breeders' Cup Steppingstone
- Knicks Go won both races in 2021 en route to Horse of the Year honors.
Churchill Downs, Saturday, September 30, 2023, Race 10
- Grade II
- 1 1/8m
- 3 yo's & up
- 5:29 PM (local)
|1||1Happy American (KY)||James Graham||123||Neil L. Pessin||8/1|
|2||2Clapton (FL)||Cristian A. Torres||123||Chad Summers||6/1|
|3||3Warrant (KY)||Florent Geroux||121||Brad H. Cox||8/1|
|4||4Rattle N Roll (KY)||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||123||Kenneth G. McPeek||7/5|
|5||5Trademark (KY)||Martin Garcia||121||Victoria H. Oliver||12/1|
|6||6Blue Devil (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||121||Jeff A. Hiles||20/1|
|7||7Whelen Springs (AR)||Jose C. Ferrer||123||Lindsay Schultz||12/1|
|8||8Five Star General (KY)||Corey J. Lanerie||121||Grant T. Forster||15/1|
|9||9Americanrevolution (NY)||Tyler Gaffalione||121||Todd A. Pletcher||5/2|