Kukulkan targets softer spot than Churchill's Stephen Foster

June 02, 2019 12:14pm

Kukulkan returned to the starting gate May 24 off a four-month layoff and re-assumed his familiar spot in the winner’s circle.

The 4-year-old will now aim for a 16th
 win in 17 starts on July 13 in the $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Memorial Stakes at Indiana Grand. That’s according to trainer Ignacio Correas, who's overseeing Kukulkan on behalf of the Mexico-based trainer Fausto Gutierrez.

“Instead of making big jumps, we’ll just take one step at a time,” Correas said.

Kukulkan closed from five lengths off the early pace May 24 at Churchill Downs to win a 1 1/16-mile conditioned allowance event by 1 ½ lengths.

It was the 15th
 victory in 16 starts for the Mexican Triple Crown winner, a son of Point Determined. Kukulkan's only loss came in his previous start, when he ran 11th in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park.

Following the May win at Churchill, Gutierrez said Kukulkan’s connections “may look” at Churchill Downs' Stephen Foster (G2) on June 15 for his next start.

But Correas said the non-graded event in Indiana was a better option for Kukulkan. Last year, the 1-mile, 40-yard Michael G. Schaefer Memorial attracted Grade 1 winner Seeking the Soul, who finished second to Pioneer Spirit.


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