Roman Approval primed for first graded win in Louisville

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

May 18th, 2016

Roman Approval, who has placed in four of six graded stakes outings since last summer, has a strong chance to finally break through at the level Saturday in the $100,000 Louisville H. (G3) over the turf at Churchill Downs.

The 1 1/2-mile distance of the Louisville is well within the scope of the Mike Maker trainee, who narrowly missed upsetting The Pizza Man over the same distance in the Stars and Stripes (G3) at Arlington last July. Roman Approval endured a respectable but frustrating winter, finishing second in the Claiming Crown Emerald, Colonel E.R. Bradley H. (G3) and Fair Grounds H. (G3) by less than a length.

Last time, the Roman Ruler five-year-old weakened to sixth in the Muniz Memorial (G2) after pressing a pace set by eventual winner Take the Stand. Maker has also entered Johns Kitten, a last-out allowance winner over 12 furlongs at Keeneland who has won two straight since being claimed for $35,000 in January.

Dynamic Sky looks to snap a nine-race losing streak in the Louisville. The Mark Casse trainee, who last won the 2014 Red Smith H. (G3), narrowly missed twice last season in the Elkhorn (G2) and Singspiel (G3), the latter to Aldous Snow.

The supporting feature is the $65,000 Opening Verse, a one-mile turf prep for next month's Wise Dan (G2). Green Mask, who has placed in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) and Al Quoz Sprint (G1) last season, enters off a narrow defeat in the $100,000 Elusive Quality at Belmont going seven furlongs.

Other leading contenders include Thatcher Street, Aztec Brave, Kulik Lodge, and Pleuven.

(Four Footed Fotos)