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Channel Maker Headliner in Elkhorn at Keeneland

Channel Maker looks to rebound in Saturday's $350,000 Elkhorn (G2). Photo credit: Keeneland racecourse).

Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, R. A. Hill Stable and Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s defending champion Channel Maker, who won the 2020 Eclipse Award as North America’s champion turf male, headlines a field of 10 4-year-olds and up entered for Saturday’s 38th running of the $350,000 Elkhorn (G2) going 1½ miles on the turf.

The Elkhorn will go as the eighth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 4:44 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.

Trained by Bill Mott, Channel Maker will attempt to become the fourth horse to win the Elkhorn in consecutive years. The others were Musketier (GER) in 2010 and 2011, Kim Loves Bucky in 2002 and 2003 and the Mott-trained African Dancer in 1998 and 1999.

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Seventh in the W.L. McKnight (G3) in his 2023 debut, Channel Maker will be ridden Saturday by John Velazquez and break from post position one.

Trinity Farm’s Red Knight, who won the W.L. McKnight in his most recent start, will be one of two entries in the Elkhorn for four-time race winner Mike Maker.

Red Knight, who won the 2020 Sycamore (G3) here in the fall of 2020, will be ridden by Gerardo Corrales and break from post five.

Maker, who won the Elkhorn with Dark Cove (2013), Da Big Hoss (2016), Bigger Picture (2019) and Zulu Alpha (2020), also will send out Michael Hui’s Value Engineering.

Winner of the Mac Diarmida (G2) in his most recent start after a runner-up finish in the McKnight, Value Engineering will break from post two under Tyler Gaffalione.

The field for the Elkhorn, with riders and weights from the rail out, is: Channel Maker (Velazquez, 118 pounds), Value Engineering (Gaffalione, 120), Rising Empire (Florent Geroux, 118), Another Mystery (Jareth Loveberry, 118), Red Knight (Corrales, 120), Shawdyshawdyshawdy (Adam Beschizza, 118), Howe Street (Flavien Prat, 118), Highest Honors (Irad Ortiz Jr., 118), Verstappen (Declan Cannon, 118), Tiz the Bomb (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118).

Ben Ali Attracts Evenly Matched Field of Seven

Lucky Seven Stable’s Rattle N Roll, emphatic winner of the 2021 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland, headlines an evenly matched field of seven 4-year-olds and up entered Wednesday for Saturday’s 92nd running of the $300,000 Ben Ali (G3) going 1 3/16 miles on the main track.

The Ben Ali will go as the ninth race on Saturday’s 10-race program with a 5:16 p.m. ET post time. First post is 1 p.m.

Trained by Kenny McPeek, Rattle N Roll won three stakes 2022 highlighted by a score in the Oklahoma Derby (G3). In his 2023 debut, Rattle N Roll was fourth in the New Orleans Classic (G2) at Fair Grounds on March 25.

Brian Hernandez Jr. has the mount and will break from post position five.

Another entrant with graded stakes success at Keeneland is Peachtree Stable’s Tawny Port.

Winner of the Stonestreet Lexington (G3) last spring, Tawny Port also won the Ohio Derby (G3) last June and enters the Ben Ali off a fifth-place finish in the Essex (G3) on March 18 at Oaklawn Park. Trained by Brad Cox, Tawny Port will be ridden by Flavien Prat and break from post seven.

Arriving Monday at Keeneland from South Florida was Daniel Alonso’s multiple Grade 3 winner Skippylongstocking. Trained by Saffie Joseph Jr., Skippylongstocking enters the Ben Ali off a 3¼-length victory in the Challenger (G3) at Tampa Bay Downs on March 11.

Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position four.