Highly Motivated, off since last year's Derby, returns at Keeneland

Highly Motivated, off since last year's Derby, returns at Keeneland
Photo: Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire

Klaravich Stables’ stakes-winner Highly Motivated, sidelined since running 10th in last year’s Kentucky Derby, will make his long-awaited comeback Saturday in an allowance/optional claimer going seven furlongs at Keeneland.

Trained by Chad Brown, Highly Motivated drew post 4 in an 11-horse field and will have new jockey Flavien Prat in the irons. Previously, Hall of Famer Javier Castellano was the regular rider for the son of Into Mischief. Castellano piloted Highly Motivated to a win in the Nyquist Stakes as a 2-year-old at Keeneland, a third in the Gotham (G3) and second in the Blue Grass (G2) before the Kentucky Derby.

Highly Motivated will take on 10 rivals in his comeback including another veteran of last year’s Kentucky Derby, Soup and Sandwich. He was last of 19 in the classic. In two starts this winter at Gulfstream for trainer Mark Casse, he has earned minor shares in a pair of allowance/optional claiming events.

Highly Motivated’s return will come the final race of an 11-race program with an approximate post time of 6:20 p.m. EDT.

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