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Breeders' Cup 2017

Deliburnsky Pace Player in Jimmy Winkfield

Stakes winner Deliburnsky is among a contingent of seven sophomores entered in Aqueduct Racetrack's Martin Luther King Jr. Day feature, the $75,000, six-furlong Jimmy Winkfield Stakes.

Deliburnsky, a New Jersey-bred son of Flatter, is one of the most experienced in the field with three victories in five starts, two of those in six-furlong stakes. He exits a 2 ¼-length front-running score in the Dave's Friend Stakes at Laurel Park on November 26, which followed a six-length romp in a sloppy edition of Monmouth Park's Jersey Juvenile Stakes against fellow state-breds on October 29. The gelding has had trouble at the start in four of his races, which trainer Tony Wilson attributes to his large size.

"He's such a big horse, but he wants to leave a little quick, so he tends to stumble out of there," said Wilson, who trains Deliburnsky for Happy Tenth Stable. "I want to send him over more ground and I thought about running him in the Count Fleet last weekend, but I wanted to get one more sprint into him. He's still a baby and we've been spacing his races; there will be time for that later in the year."

After a fourth-place finish in an open company maiden outing at Monmouth on July 2, Deliburnsky came back to trounce a field of state-breds in his second effort, airing by 8 ¼ lengths going five furlongs on July 25. He then stepped up for Monmouth's Grade 3 Sapling, but finished a disappointing ninth after dueling through the early stages. Deliburnsky has been forwardly placed in all of his starts, and Wilson expects more of the same on Monday.

"He'll show some gas," said Wilson, who is based at Overbrook Training Center in New Jersey. "We're on the farm, so I brought him to Aqueduct and breezed him over the track on Wednesday [5f in 1:00.20]. He went great; I was really happy with the workout."

Regular rider Pedro Cotto, Jr. has the return call aboard Deliburnsky, who drew post position 3 and was made the 7-2 morning-line third choice.

Another shipping in from out of town is Fresh Start Stable's Yo Koffy, an 8 ½-length debut winner at Parx Racing on November 21 and second as the favorite in an allowance there on New Year's Day, both at six furlongs.

The William Anderson trainee, a gelded son of Kafwain, will leave from the rail under Jose Luis Flores as the 5-2 morning-line second choice.

King and Crusader, one of two supplemental entries from the barn of trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr., also brings stakes experience to the table, having won the Maryland Juvenile Championship at Laurel on December 17, although he was later disqualified due to a medication violation. A son of Lion Heart, King and Crusader is already a winner this year, having taken an optional claimer at Aqueduct by two lengths on Friday for his third career victory. Dutrow's other Jimmy Winkfield entrant, Reserved Quality, exits a fourth-place finish in the same race.

King and Crusader was made the 2-1 morning-line favorite for the Jimmy Winkfield and drew post 4 under Cornelio Velasquez.

A gutsy maiden win on December 17 earned Darley Stable's McKinley Square a chance in the Jimmy Winkfield and the colt's connections believe he is an improving horse. After a pair of seventh-place efforts - a green debut at Saratoga Race Course and an unsuccessful outing on the Belmont Park turf in October - McKinley Square squeezed through a narrow opening on the rail to get up by a neck going six furlongs in his third start.

"He stepped it up," Art Magnuson, assistant to trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, said of the son of Street Cry. "He ran terrible on the turf, but his first run was kind of sneaky good. It was a pretty good race, he was green. We were kind of surprised the way he split the rail and won like that last time, and very happy. He continues to train well, and here's the next step. We think he belongs in there."

Tabbed at 8-1 on the morning line, McKinley Square will leave from post 6 with Mike Luzzi.

Completing the field are He Can Run, who broke his maiden in a six-furlong optional claimer on the main track at Aqueduct on November 18, and Done Done Done, who won a six furlong optional claimer over the inner on December 18 in which He Can Run was second. 

The field for the $75,000 Jimmy Winkfield:








Yo Koffy (KY)

J L Flores


W D Anderson



He Can Run (KY)

J Alvarado


A E Goldberg



Deliburnsky (NJ)

P L Cotto, Jr.


T Wilson



King and Crusader (MD)

C H Velasquez


R E Dutrow, Jr.



Done Done Done (KY)

J Valdivia, Jr.


I Correas, IV



McKinley Square (KY)

M J Luzzi


K P McLaughlin



Reserved Quality (KY)

I Ortiz, Jr.


R E Dutrow, Jr.




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