John Oxley’s Star Contender
, winner of the Cup and
Saucer Stakes on turf at Woodbine last October, will carry top weight of
123 pounds against 10 rivals entered Tuesday for Friday’s 25th
running of the $100,000 Transylvania (G3) at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
The Transylvania will highlight the card on the opening day of the
16-day spring meet and serves as the first of 16 stakes, 15 of them
graded, for the meet that runs through April 26. The Transylvania will
go as the ninth race on Friday’s 10-race program with a 5:13 p.m. (ET)
post time. First post time daily throughout the meet is 1:05 p.m.
Trained by Mark Casse, Star Contender has not raced since finishing
sixth in the Gulfstream Park Derby on January 1 in his lone start on
dirt. Patrick Husbands, who has been aboard Star Contender in four of
his five starts, has the call Friday and will break from post position
Transylvania favoritism could go to Sam-Son Farm’s Up With the Birds,
a winner of his past three starts who capped off 2012 with a victory in
the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine over Star Contender. Shaun
Bridgmohan, who rode Up With the Birds to victory in the Black Gold
Stakes at Fair Grounds on March 2, has the mount Friday and will break
from post position three.
The field for the Transylvania, from the inside out, is as follows: Amen Kitten (Alex Solis, 118 pounds), Brown Almighty (Rosie Napravnik, 118), Up With the Birds (Bridgmohan, 118), Bambazonki (Jose Lezcano, 118), Pyrite Mountain (Julien Leparoux, 118), Jack Milton (John Velazquez, 118), Fire Guard (Joel Rosario, 118), Redwood Kitten (Elvis Trujillo, 118), Star Contender (Husbands, 123), Bethel (Antonio Castanon, 118) and Holiday Star (Joe Rocco Jr., 118).