Several graded stakes turf sprint warriors from last year and a newly minted graded stakes winner make up the nine-horse field entered in the May 1 $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The lukewarm 3-1 favorite in the sixth race on the Longines Kentucky Oaks undercard is Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Sum of the Parts. The 5-year-old son of Speightstown has started as the favorite in two turf sprints so far this year and won one of them, the Champion Energy Services Stakes at Sam Houston Race Park. Tom Amoss trains Sum of the Parts, and he'll be ridden by Rosie Napravnik, who's been aboard his last three races.
Competition should be tougher in the five-furlong Twin Spires Turf considering Sum of the Parts will face two contenders he lost to in the March 15 Colonel Power Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He finished fourth in the 5 ½-furlong sprint on the grass behind Positive Side and Marchman, who were second and third in the Colonel Power, respectively. Both of those horses started in the April 12 Shakertown Stakes where Marchman was the winner, getting the edge on Positive Side by a neck at the wire.
The Shakertown Stakes was the first graded stakes win for Martin Racing Stable's Marchman, a 4-year-old bay colt by Sharp Humor and trained by Bret Calhoun. Marchman seems to have found his best footing on the grass. Out of 12 lifetime starts, he has started on the turf five times and won three of those races. He will be ridden in the Twin Spires Turf by Robby Albarado, who was his pilot in the Shakertown.
Another key contender in the race could be Stormofthecentury, a 6-year-old son of Dark Kestrel and owned by Steven Demaiolo's Beechwood Racing Stable. Though the bay gelding has been lightly raced over the past two years and will be making his first start of the year in the Twin Spires Turf Sprint, trainer Louis Ruberto seems to get a lot out of him when he does run. Stormofthecentury has made only eight starts since the beginning of 2012, but won four times and finished second twice. Last year he beat renowned Mid-Atlantic turf sprinter Ben's Cat in the Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing under Stewart Elliott, who has the mount. Elliott has been on a hot streak of his own since moving his tack to Kentucky. He finished second in the jockey standings by number of wins at the recent Keeneland spring meet.