Sir Dudley Digges returns in Commonwealth Turf

Profile Picture: James Scully

November 9th, 2016

Unraced since a second in the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, Queen’s Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges heads a field of 11 3-year-olds in Saturday’s $100,000 Commonwealth Turf (G3) at Churchill Downs. Julien Leparoux has the mount on the Mike Maker-trained colt.

Owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Sir Dudley Digges will make his first U.S. start since breaking his maiden at Keeneland in late April. The dark bay son of Gio Ponti followed with a third in the Plate Trial at Woodbine before springing a 15-1 upset in the prestigious Queen’s Plate. He didn’t fire when switching from Tapeta to dirt in the Prince of Wales, checking in sixth in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie, but rebounded with a respectable runner-up in grassy Breeders at Woodbine last time out. Sir Dudley Digges will return from an 83-day freshening.

One Mean Man showed his versatility when taking the off-the-turf Jefferson Cup at Churchill Downs on October 1 and has captured four of his last five outings for trainer Bernie Flint, the lone setback being a close fourth in the Secretariat (G3). The three-time turf stakes victor also won a deep turf allowance under the Twin Spires in late June. The hard-trying gray colt will retain the services of Robby Albarado.

Mark Casse has a pair of last-out allowance winners in Blackout and Tizarunner. Blackout won 3-of-7 starts in England before being purchased for $122k at the Tattersalls July sale and exits a nice score at Belmont Park in his second start stateside. Florent Geroux picks up the mount. Tizarunner returns to stakes company after rallying to win going away at Keeneland and picks up a new rider in Chris Landeros. Casse will also send out Ikerrin Road, who makes his second U.S. start following a fifth at Keeneland.

Other contenders in the 1 1/16-mile turf affair include Grade 3 winner Surgical Strike, last seen recording a close second in the Centaur at Indiana Grand in early September; Bondurant, who will make his stakes bow for Ian Wilkes off a convincing allowance tally at Keeneland; and stakes-placed Scholar Athlete.

Sir Dudley Digges photo courtesy of WEG/Michael Burns Photography