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Churchill Downs’ Spring Meet opener draws 162 entries; includes champion Monomoy Girl

Horses are back at Churchill Downs and they are ready to run, with 162 entries for Saturday’s 11 scheduled races.

Saturday’s Opening Day program of the 2020 Spring Meet has an average field size of 11.3 horses for the action-packed 11-race program, which includes the return of champion Monomoy Girl in the featured fourth race, a conditioned allowance event at one-mile on the main track with a purse of $85,000.

“It’s been a long time coming but we are thrilled for (Monomoy Girl) to return to the races,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She’s been working great down at Keeneland since late March and we’re looking forward to this first step back.”

Monomoy Girl has been on the sidelines since September after dealing with a minor hamstring pull and a bout of colic. The horse is owned by Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elskstone Group and Bethelehem Stables.

Monomoy Girl has been on the sidelines since September after dealing with a minor hamstring pull and a bout of colic.

Monomoy Girl capped her brilliant 3-year-old campaign with victories in the 2018 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI). She will be reunited with her regular pilot Florent Geroux for Saturday’s contest from post No. 2. Geroux has been aboard Monomoy Girl for her last three works at Keeneland, including a swift five-furlong move in :59.40 last Saturday.

First post Saturday is 1 p.m. (all times Eastern), with Race 4 headed to the gate at 2:32 p.m.

Some of racing’s biggest stars have aligned for the Spring Meet which includes many of the nation’s top jockeys led by Javier Castellano, Jose Ortiz, Joel Rosarioand John Velazquez.

Those jockeys will join several of Churchill Downs’ household names on Saturday’s card, including Tyler Gaffalione, Geroux, James Graham, Brian Hernandez Jr., and Chris Landeros. In addition, Julien Leparoux, Miguel Mena, Ricardo Santana Jr., and, of course, defending Spring Meet leading rider Corey Lanerie will also be on hand.

Other jockeys joining the fray are Rafael Bejarano, Manny Franco, Mitchell Murrill and Joe Talamo.

A total of 47 jockeys are listed in Book 1 of the Churchill Downs Spring Meet Condition Book. Others include Irad Ortiz, Luiz Saez, Mike Smith and Drayden Van Dyke. The entire list of jockeys can be found on page 63 of the Condition Book: 2020 Spring Meet Condition Book Volume I.

Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen is poised to defend his 2019 Spring Meet Leading Trainer title, but several new names have been allotted stalls for the entirety of the Spring Meet including Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and multiple Eclipse Award-winning trainers Chad Brown and Todd Pletcher.

Other new names stabled at Churchill Downs include Jerry Hollendorfer and John Sadler.

The overnight for Saturday’s card will be uploaded to the following link at www.churchilldowns.com.

There were 124 horses that were entered in the body of each race with 38 on the also eligible list.

From Churchill Downs

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