Setsuko will run at Churchill Downs this weekend, but not in the race that trainer Richard Mandella would prefer.
With Setsuko too far down the list on graded stakes earnings to be assured a place in Saturday's Kentucky Derby, Mandella will use Friday's $175,000 American Turf Stakes over 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds as a consolation.
Second in the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, Setsuko was second in an optional claimer over 1 1/8 miles of turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 27, his only start on the surface.
"He ran a nice race on the grass," Mandella said. "At least, I can be there. I won't be sitting at home."
* Trainer Bob Baffert's Kentucky Derby duo of Conveyance and Lookin At Lucky had schooling sessions in the paddock before the first race on Saturday. Other than Oaks Day on Friday, when trainers are generally reluctant to school Derby horses because they are running the next day, the crowd at Churchill Downs on opening day Saturday comes closest this week to approximating what horses will face on Derby Day next Saturday.
* Brass Hat, the popular 9-year-old gelding who finished second in the Grade 2 Elkhorn Stakes on Friday at Keeneland, will be honored in his hometown of Frankfort, Ky., on Monday evening. Brass Hat was born and raised on the local farm of his owner, Fred Bradley, father of Brass Hat's trainer, Buff Bradley.
- additional reporting by Jay Privman