Romans aims for Matt Winn Stakes upset with King Zachary

Press Release
June 14, 2018 04:47pm
King Zachary wins at GP (3-18-18)
Photo: Lauren King

Churchill Downs’ all-time leading trainer, Dale Romans, will attempt to upset 4-5 morning line favorite Ax Man with Tom Conway’s Kentucky Derby Day allowance winner King Zachary in Saturday’s $100,000 Matt Winn (GIII) at Churchill Downs.

“For a short field, it certainly came up to be a really tough race,” Romans said. “I think King Zachary is improving at the right time, though. We’ve always thought highly of this horse and it’s a special horse to Mr. Conway. He is one of the top attorneys in the state and he named this horse after a family he represented more than 20 years ago and still keeps in contact with.

“We tried him in the Wood Memorial and really didn’t take well to the track but showed his potential when he won an allowance race on Derby Day. It will be tough to beat Ax Man but this horse is really doing well.”

King Zachary, a $550,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, will be piloted by Romans’ go-to jockey
Robby Albarado and break from post 4 at 10-1 odds on the morning line.

Among the challengers in the Matt Winn is
 Calumet Farm’s Pat Day Mile (GIII) winner Funny Duck.

“It’s a really tough Grade III,”
 Rusty Arnold II’s assistant Jack Bohannan said. “We’ll see if he can run as well over the dry track as he did on the wet surface in the Pat Day Mile. He’s trained well over it but we’ll see what Saturday holds against Ax Man.”

Funny Duck will once again be ridden by
 Brian Hernandez Jr. and break from post 3 at 5-1 morning line odds.

The Matt Winn field from the rail out:
 Navy Armed Guard (ridden by Alex Canchari, trained by Joan Scott, 118 pounds);Home Base (Joe Rocco Jr., Mike Tomlinson, 118); Funny Duck (Hernandez, Arnold, 120); King Zachary (Albarado, Romans, 118); Combatant (Ricardo Santana Jr., Steve Asmussen, 118); Tiz Mischief (Corey Lanerie, Romans, 118); and Ax Man (Mike Smith, Bob Baffert, 120).

The Matt Winn goes as Race 5 with a post time of approximately
 7:57 p.m. (all times Eastern).


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