The top three finishers from the 2010 edition of the Grade 3 Aristides Stakes -- Riley Tucker, Atta Boy Roy and Cash Refund -- are back for Saturday's $100,000 renewal at Churchill Downs, but this year's running of the six-furlong dash has arguably attracted a much deeper field.
Sidelined at this time a year ago due to infirmities, the gelding Capt. Candyman Can can stake his claim as the Midwest's top long-term prospect for the Breeders' Cup Sprint with a good performance in the Aristides, which honors the inaugural winner of the Kentucky Derby. The Ian Wilkes trainee, who won four stakes at three including the King's Bishop Stakes, was sidelined from the 2009 Breeders' Cup Sprint until this year's Super Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on February 5, which he won by a half-length.
After posting a neck score in the Sir Shackleton H. at Gulfstream next out, Capt. Candyman Can ran bravely in defeat in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on Derby day. Leading by two lengths after six furlongs, the five-year-old yielded grudgingly to finish fourth, a half-length behind Aikenite. Calvin Borel, who took the reins for the first time in the Churchill Downs, has the return call for the Aristides.
Noble's Promise ran one of the best races of his career in the course-and-distance Jimmy V. S. last November on Breeders' Cup weekend. The Grade 1 veteran has raced sparingly since, and only made his seasonal debut when two lengths fifth in the Churchill Downs. Seventh in that seven-furlong feature was Here Comes Ben, last year's Forego Stakes winner who also ran a dull one in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile in his 2010 finale.