Champion sprinter Trinniberg heads a strong field for the 79th running of the $400,000 Churchill Downs Stakes May 4 at the Louisville track.
The seven-furlong event is race 9 on the Kentucky Derby undercard, with a scheduled post time of 3:49 p.m. EDT. Nine are entered, with Delaunay, riding a five-race win streak for trainer Tom Amoss and owner Maggi Moss, the major threat to the 8-5 morning line favorite.
Winner of the Xpressbet Breeders' Cup Sprint last fall, Sherry Parbhoo's Trinniberg looks to rebound from a failed effort in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup Day at Meydan March 30. Racing over the synthetic Tapeta racing surface for the first time, Trinniberg tired to 11th after chasing the leaders throughout the six-furlong test. It is the only start for the 4-year-old Teuflesberg colt since his Nov. 3 Breeders' Cup win.
Trinniberg won three other graded stakes last year besides the BC Sprint while earning nearly $1.4 million. Trained by Shivananda Parbhoo, he will pack top weight of 123 pounds while breaking from post 8 with regular rider Willie Martinez in the irons.
Just to the outside of the champ is Delaunay, who was on a tear of late at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 6-year-old son of Smoke Glacken has recorded five consecutive triple-digit Beyer figures, most recently posting a field-best 111 in winning the Duncan F. Kenner Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths March 9. The win was the last of three consecutive stakes victories at Fair Grounds for the bay gelding.
A 13-time winner from 38 starts, Delauney will be making his first graded stakes appearance in the Churchill Downs and will be guided by Rosie Napravnik. Delauney, who has won all three of his prior starts at Churchill Downs, is 2-1 on the morning line.
Mike McCarty's Unbridled's Note (5-1) has been headquartered at Santa Anita Park this season for trainer Steve Asmussen. The 4-year-old Unbridled's Song colt returns to Churchill, where he registered the first two wins of his career. In his most recent start, the 6 1/2-furlong Potrero Grande Stakes April 6 at Santa Anita Park, Unbridled's Note closed well for second to Jimmy Creed.
Unbridled's Note was also second to the filly Mizdirection in last fall Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on the Santa Anita hillside course. That is the same course where he recorded his only graded stakes win in the Eddie D last September. Corey Nakatani retains the mount.
Like Delauney and Unbridled's Note, Hierro also is perfect at Churchill, scoring a maiden win in 2011 and taking last spring's Derby Trial over a sloppy track. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Hierro (10-1) will be ridden by John Velazquez.
Recent Oaklawn Park stakes winner Laurie's Rocket, Reddam Racing's Commonwealth Stakes victor Handsome Mike, Pass the Dice, and Politicallycorrect are all capable of springing an upset.