Thirteen 3-year-old colt trotters were entered for Sunday afternoon's 120th renewal of the $508,000 Kentucky Futurity at The Red Mile. The field was divided into two eliminations, with the top five in each returning for the second heat. If one of the elim winners does not win the second heat, then those two will be joined by the second-heat victor in a third-heat race-off.
Included among the field is Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, who drew post five in the six-horse elimination. Although Jim Morrill Jr. has been the regular driver behind Archangel this year as he has amassed more than $700,000 in earnings, a change has been made in the Futurity to Tim Tetrick.
"It was a tough decision. Morrill has done a great job for us, but Tim Tetrick is the hottest guy out here in the Grand Circuit field," explained Alan Hainsworth, who shares ownershipof Archangel with Clare Semer and trainer Peter Arrigenna. "As a business decision, I just have to go this way for this race. Tim said he'd help me out and he was more than willing to drive the horse. He thanked me for giving him a chance."
Overall, Archangel has won 10 of 15 starts this year, including his score in the Yonkers Trot, the first jewel of trotting's Triple Crown. Archangel then finished fourth in the second jewel, the Hambletonian. The Kentucky Futurity is the third jewel. A son of Credit Winner, Archangel's career mark of 1:53.1 came while capturing the Empire Breeders Classic final.
"This is the greatest ride in my life, and I've been in the business a long time," Hainsworth added. "Pete has done just a wonderful job with the colt.What a partner and trainer; I couldn't be any luckier."
Here are the fields for the Kentucky Futurity eliminations: