Roger Attfield and William Werner’s Simmard,
winner of the Mac Diarmida (GII) in February, arrived at Churchill
Downs on Thursday morning to continue his preparations for Saturday’s 75th
running of the $100,000-added Louisville Handicap (GIII) where he will
carry the top weight of 120 pounds in the field of eight.
“He had a nice breeze yesterday at Woodbine (five furlongs around the
dogs on the turf in 1:01) and he traveled through the night to
Churchill,” Attfield said via phone from his base at Woodbine. “He
arrived in good order this morning.”
Simmard will enter the 1 ½-mile Louisville off a third-place finish
in the Elkhorn (GII) at Keeneland. Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia has made the 7-year-old son of Dixieland Band the 2-1 morning-line favorite on Saturday.
“I haven’t looked at the race too much yet,” Attfield said. “He’s run
in some good races, though, and I’m sure it’s an OK spot for him.”
Attfield had also nominated Stella Perdomo’s Musketier-GER to the Louisville. Musketier was assigned the high weight of 121 pounds by racing secretary Ben Huffman,
but he was not entered in the race. The two Attfield-trained horses
previously raced against each other this year in the Mac Diarmida and
“I didn’t want to run the two against each other again,” Attfield
said. “I also thought Simmard was training a bit better and I wanted to
give Musketier a little more time between races.”
Simmard will be saddled by assistant trainer Suzanne Lorimer on Saturday and will break from post seven under Gabriel Saez. Post time for the Louisville is 5:25 p.m. (all times Eastern) and the 11-race card Saturday will begin at 12:45 p.m.