LEXINGTON, KY (April 12, 2017) – W.S. Farish’s Eagle will face seven rivals Saturday as he attempts to become the fourth back-to-back winner of the $200,000 Ben Ali (G3).
The 87th Ben Ali, run at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, will go as the seventh races on Saturday’s
11-race program with a 4:24 p.m. ET post time. First post time Saturday is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Neil Howard, Eagle enters Saturday’s Ben Ali off a fourth-place finish two weeks ago in the New Orleans Handicap (G2) at Fair Grounds. Robby Albarado has the mount and will break from post position two.
Howard has won the Ben Ali five times and Albarado four, with the two of them teaming up for victories in 2003 with Horse of the Year Mineshaft, 2004 with Midway Road and 2005 with Alumni Hall.
The most recent horse to repeat in the Ben Ali was Aspro in 1983-1984.
Another Ben Ali entrant, Scuba, brings a three-race win streak into the Ben Ali with all victories coming by open lengths. The 6-year-old Tapit gelding, trained by Brendan Walsh, won the 1½-mile Greenwood Cup (G3) at Parx by five lengths, the 1 5/8-mile Temperence Hill at Belmont Park by three lengths and then the 1¾-mile Marathon by 4¼ lengths.
Kendrick Carmouche, who has been aboard for all three of those victories, has the call Saturday and will break from post position four.
The field for the Ben Ali, from the rail out, is: Blofeld (Florent Geroux, 118 pounds), Eagle (Albarado, 118), Watershed (Paco Lopez, 118), Scuba (Carmouche, 120), Taketothestreets (Channing Hill, 118), Bird Song (Brian Hernandez Jr., 118), Conquest Enforcer (Joel Rosario, 118) and Frammento (Nik Juarez, 118).